running http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/858/all en-US The 5 Best Women’s Running Shoes http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-women-s-running-shoes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-women-s-running-shoes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_running_shoes_83990259.jpg" alt="Woman wearing best running shoes to go running" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The right running shoes can improve your run, protect your feet, and reduce injuries. <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/athletic-shoes/buying-guide.htm">Consumer Reports</a> can verify that it can be a very complicated process to find just the right running shoes for your arch type, body type, gait, orthotics, and running style. That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;re here to help you find some of the very best running shoes for runners of all levels.</p> <h2>What Are Women&rsquo;s Running Shoes?</h2> <p>Running shoes are specialty shoes that offer additional cushioning, flexing at the bar of the foot, and adequate traction and stability, so that you can run safely and comfortably. Running shoes can be very expensive, but if they suit your running style, then they can last comfortably through years of wear and hundreds of miles of tread.</p> <p>If you aren&rsquo;t sure which shoes are right for you, visit a professional running center and have them assess your running style while you run on a treadmill. They may take additional measurements and can then make an expert customized recommendation. You can also use online shoe advisers for quick assistance, like the one offered by <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/shoeadvisor">Runner&rsquo;s World</a>.</p> <h2>Top 5 Women&rsquo;s Running Shoes</h2> <h3>Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 15 Shoe</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aLTyJ3"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/download.jpg" width="225" height="150" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2aLTyJ3">Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 15 Shoes</a> are ideal for most feet. They work well for wide feet and have enhanced cushioning, stability, flexibility, and arch support. They have breathable linings, which can help wick moisture away to keep your feet cool and dry. Thanks to the comfortable, responsive cushioning, runners find these are comfortable to run in for long extended periods, like marathon runs.</p> <p>They feature a wide base, a mid-foot shank and foam that becomes firmer toward the inside edge of each shoe, and an adjustable saddle design for targeted support. The extended crash pad also allows for full ground contact and a great heel-to-toe transition. The Omega Flex Grooves allow for more natural forefoot movement and fluidity.</p> <p>These are recommended by ConsumerSearch and are some of the best-selling running shoes on Amazon. They are also commonly recommended by professional running stores around the country. They are designed to last for years, so they offer a great value.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aLTyJ3"><em>Currently $79.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ASICS Women's GEL-Nimbus 17 Running Shoe</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2axtFtA"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/3145131-p-4x.jpg" width="225" height="169" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you have issues in your feet or heels, you may want to try the <a href="http://amzn.to/2axtFtA">ASICS Women's GEL-Nimbus 17 Running Shoes</a>. They offer unmatched cushioning, stability, support, and comfort for all types of runners, including underpronators. They feature a padded collar, asymmetrical lacing system, and breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool and dry.</p> <p>The FluidFit upper can also aid in preventing blisters. They have rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning to reduce the shock during impact and toe-off phases. The FluidFit upper technology utilizes multidirectional stretch mesh and stretch reinforcements to create a more secure fit. They also feature a gait-enhancing impact guidance system, vertical flex grooves, and a supportive heel-clutching system.</p> <p>These are very durable, so they should last you reliably for years. They are recommended by Runner&rsquo;s World and are an Amazon best-seller. They are also backed by more than 900 five-star reviews on Amazon. If these don&rsquo;t work for your style, consider the other highly rated shoes from ASICS, like <a href="http://amzn.to/2alxHdq">ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2aDCfrB">ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 4 Running Shoe</a>, or <a href="http://amzn.to/2alygE2">ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2axtFtA"><em>Currently $101.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoe</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aoKxDa"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mizuno.jpg" width="225" height="143" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2aoKxDa">Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoes</a> offer enhanced comfort and control. They work well for overpronators and for runners who frequently experience leg fatigue because they are springy enough to add serious cushioning to your run. They feature supple internal straps, which hug the foot for a more secure fit. The Fan Wave technology within the midsole lends support, stability, and cushioning, guiding the foot through the entire gait cycle.</p> <p>These offer a better fit, better control, and better grip than past editions. They are recommended by Runner&rsquo;s World and Health Magazine, and are some of the best-selling running shoes on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aoKxDa"><em>Currently $67.31 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Saucony Women's Cohesion 8 Running Shoe</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aoLgEA"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/saucony.jpg" width="225" height="131" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2aoLgEA">Saucony Women's Cohesion 8 Running Shoes</a> are ideal for nearly all runners, even underpronators and runners who have wide feet and high arches. They are made with breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and dry. They offer unmatched comfort and support, thanks to adequate cushioning and a plush tongue and collar.</p> <p>The Flex Grooves are added to the forefoot to increase flexibility. The Heel GRID System is embedded into the midsole foam to enhance cushioning in the heel, while the external heel counter aids in stabilizing the heel. The IMEVA midsole can also absorb shock and provide adequate traction.</p> <p>These offer lasting durability, so they should last you for years and provide a great value over time. They are some of the best-selling running shoes on Amazon and are backed by more than 800 five-star reviews on Amazon. Many reviewers found that once they tried these, they could never go back to another running shoe again.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aoLgEA"><em>Currently $44.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Nike Women's Flex 2015 Rn Running Shoe</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aDEfAp"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/nie.jpg" width="225" height="141" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you are looking for the ideal all-purpose running shoes, consider the sleek, lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2aDEfAp">Nike Women's Flex 2015 Rn Running Shoe</a>. They feature a lace-up closure, fabric mesh lining, and breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool and dry. The soft phylon midsole core offers unrivaled cushioning, flexibility, and support, so they can be worn on long runs or to your next visit to the gym.</p> <p>They also have a synthetic overlay for additional support, a padded collar and tongue for added comfort, and an inner mesh sleeve that provides a sock-like fit. The removable FITSOLE insole also provides additional underfoot cushioning. The flex grooves in the outsole also add additional flexibility, allowing the shoe to bend properly with the natural motion of the foot.</p> <p>These have outstanding online reviews and should last for years, providing a great value. They also have a minimal feel, which is ideal for those who don&rsquo;t like flashy running shoes.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2aDEfAp"><em>Currently $61.16 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best women&rsquo;s running shoes. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-women-s-running-shoes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mens-cross-training-shoes">The 5 Best Men&#039;s Cross Training Shoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-womens-cross-training-shoes">The 5 Best Women&#039;s Cross Training Shoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-anti-itch-creams">The 5 Best Anti-Itch Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-shampoos-for-frizzy-hair">The 5 Best Shampoos for Frizzy Hair</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping 5 best new shoes product reviews running running shoes shoes shopping women's running shoes Fri, 05 Aug 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1766253 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning-jogging-460910167-small.jpg" alt="morning jogging" title="morning jogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sun is rising earlier these days, which means you can exercise earlier than usual, before your normal workday begins. Plus, who wants to go for a walk or jog outdoors when the temperatures regularly hit peaks in the 90s and humidity levels are sky high? Not me. There are also many advantages to switching routines to the AM hours, foremost of which is eliminating the excuse factor for skipping workouts. If you get it out of the way for the day, you'll likely stick with the routine. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=related">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <p>As a long-time runner who prefers moving in the evening hours, I do find the switch quite jarring at first. So, the following are tips for how to get the most of your morning workout, from waking consistently to getting your body moving with less coaxing.</p> <h2>1. Banish the Blackouts</h2> <p>Since I'd rather sleep as long as possible in a darker than dark cave, I've taken a cue from nature to help myself rise and shine. I allow my room to flood with light, and when I start to stir, usually around 6 a.m., I can't fall back to sleep. Always set a standard alarm as a backup for those unexpected cloudy days.</p> <h2>2. Set the Stage</h2> <p>I set out my clothing and shoes the night before so they are ready and waiting without requiring me to use many brain cells. Since I'm not keen on waking early, anything to make the process more automatic is key.</p> <h2>3. Eat Something</h2> <p>I used to lace up and head right out the door at this point. Over time, though, I realized that I had zero energy mid-way through my 6-mile loop. The culprit? No fuel. Eating a small morning snack (think toast with peanut butter or a banana and crackers) before exercising will help keep blood sugar levels going and allow you to dig deeper. And don't forget a glass of water! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grab-and-go-post-workout-breakfasts?ref=related">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ease Expectations</h2> <p>If you're new to the early morning routine, go easy on yourself at first. Maybe you can smash a killer interval workout in the afternoon and evening hours, but the morning leaves your legs feeling limp. Start your new program by doing simple moves &mdash; and even spending dedicated time warming up &mdash; to transition into the harder stuff over time. Don't worry, going from zero to 100 is hard for everyone.</p> <h2>5. Call a Buddy</h2> <p>One of the surest ways to get out the door and enjoy a more fruitful workout is to involve someone else in your routine. The company not only makes you more accountable, but it also means friendly chatter that will help make the time go faster &mdash; I promise. If you can't think of anyone else who'd want to subject themselves to exercise so early, consider signing up for an exercise class at your gym. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-get-fit-and-strong-in-30-days-or-less?ref=related">The Cheapest Way to Get Fit and Strong in 30 Days or Less</a>)</p> <h2>6. Try Something New</h2> <p>If you're diehard into one sport specifically, maybe you're finding that the activity doesn't jive with your morning self. You can always try something new, from biking to swimming to walking and beyond, to mix it up and get a better overall workout. Cross-training is also a great way to strengthen muscles you haven't used in years. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-fun-and-free-summertime-exercise-ideas?ref=seealso">22 Fun and Free Summer Exercise Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>7. Incentivize</h2> <p>Some of us need an extra push to get into consistent healthy habits, and that's OK. So do those extra 20 pushups, finish that additional mile, or burst past that pace plateau. The good news is that you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">reward yourself for free</a> for all your hard work.</p> <p><em>How do you get the most out of your morning workouts? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It&#039;s Cold Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kettlebells">The 5 Best Kettlebells</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-119-best-fitness-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: The 119 Best Fitness Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">Fitness For People Who Hate Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle exercise morning workout running workouts Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1153234 at http://www.wisebread.com Surprisingly Easy Ways You Can Support Charity http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/volunteers at state park.jpg" alt="volunteers at state park" title="volunteers at state park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Supporting a charity can be surprisingly easy. For example, last week, I helped the Denver Parks &amp; Recreation to improve an&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Park,_Denver">inner city park</a> as part of a <a href="http://fincon12.sched.org/event/443e88ee70b32cd3ceb9fd549e7eae79#.UE-SdbJlQWc">service project associated with a professional conference</a>. During the course of a couple of hours, the playground area was made safer and the grounds were readied for the fall and winter. The effort was minimal for me, but the impact overall was significant.</p> <p>You may want to further the mission of a charitable or non-profit group, but don't have lots of time or money to give. If so, lend a hand to those who are orchestrating events, overseeing service activities, and raising money to fund projects and programs. By supporting their efforts, even in seemingly minor ways, you can help make a major difference in the community. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">Giving to Charity Is Great.&nbsp;But How Do You&nbsp;Pick&nbsp;One?</a>)</p> <h2>Volunteer</h2> <p>Notice requests for volunteers at home, school, and work. Respond to the needs that inspire you and allow you to reach your goals while helping others.</p> <p><strong>Participate in One-Day Service Projects</strong></p> <p>Professional groups, churches, and schools often organize half-day or day-long events that focus on one major project or a handful of ones from which people choose. Your efforts may benefit the local environment, a food bank, or a homeless shelter.</p> <p><strong>Volunteer Through Your Company</strong></p> <p>Take advantage of employer programs that encourage volunteerism, place you with local agencies, and give you time off during the workday to serve in the community.</p> <p><strong>Get Your Family Involved</strong></p> <p>If your kids (especially teens) want to support a charity through service, accompany them or help make arrangements for volunteer activities.</p> <p><strong>Sign Up for Special Events</strong></p> <p>Organizers often need volunteers to assist with event-day activities. You may be able to snag bonuses like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-ways-to-get-a-free-meal">free meals</a> or a pass to festivities.</p> <p><strong>Volunteer Online</strong></p> <p>Some projects can be done online in your free time. For example, you might help a local charity with online communications or assist with a project through <a href="http://www.sparked.com/">Sparked.com</a>.</p> <p>There may be a few frustrating moments when trying something new. But volunteering, especially for simple and short-term assignments, can be a meaningful way to get involved with the community, expand your professional network and circle of friends, and develop new skills without overcommitting yourself.</p> <h2>Be Social</h2> <p>Hang out with friends in real life and/or online while supporting a great cause. Consider these ways to socialize for a mission.</p> <p><strong>Eat Out With Friends</strong></p> <p>Head for the barbecue, pancake breakfast, or spaghetti supper sponsored by the fire department, neighborhood school, or local civic group. Patronize fund-raising meals with friends to support a good cause without spending too much money. If you'd rather enjoy more elegant surroundings and a fancier meal, dine at restaurants on nights that they donate a portion of their proceeds to charity.</p> <p><strong>Follow Charities on Social Networks</strong></p> <p>By <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/07/14/support-charity-sosg/">following or liking groups on Facebook, Twitter, etc.</a>, and sharing their stories, you can help raise awareness of certain causes and specific projects.</p> <p><strong>Organize Activities Using Social Media</strong></p> <p>Harness the power of your online connections to help people in the real world. For example, a friend learned about an inner-city agency's need for school supplies on Facebook and posted about her plans to collect items; within a week, she received donations from her friends and helped to make sure that area children had what they needed to go to school.</p> <p>Don't expect that all of your friends will be as excited as you are to support a charity. Collaborate with those who have similar interests.</p> <h2>Get Rid of Stuff</h2> <p>Be supportive by donating items that are needed by a charity for reuse, repurpose, or sale. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">Declutter</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-charitable-tax-deductions">get a tax deduction</a>, and support a cause. Goodwill is a great destination for many things but also consider these ways of turning your old, extra, or unwanted stuff into treasure.</p> <p><strong>Contribute to a Yard Sale</strong></p> <p>Give clothes, household items, etc. to an organization that is holding a yard sale. Watch for announcements requesting donations or hold stuff for groups that host community sales on a regular basis.</p> <p><strong>Redeem Rewards for Charity</strong></p> <p>You may be able to redeem or transfer points associated with bank card or shopping rewards programs to support a designated charity. Turn points into a cash donation or help a charity purchase an item (from the rewards catalog) for its operations.</p> <p><strong>Give Books to the Needy</strong></p> <p>Many charitable organizations accept books and either distribute them to children and families or sell them to generate funds. Check out this list of groups that can put your <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/where-donate-used-books/">book discards to good use</a>, or donate <a href="http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php">PaperBackSwap</a> book credits to a needy school or military group.</p> <p><strong>Take Nice Items to a Consignment Shop</strong></p> <p>Some shops have donor programs in which proceeds can benefit a cause selected by the owner or the charity of your choice.</p> <p>Before you drop off a trunk-load of discards at a group's office or service site, find out if your favorite organizations can benefit from your items. Sorting through loads of stuff to find one or two things of value isn't worth the trouble for most charities, so be discerning about what you give to help rather than hinder.</p> <h2>Go Shopping</h2> <p>Get the stuff you need and want while supporting a charity. Proceeds might benefit local schools and youth organizations or global efforts to relieve hunger, provide employment for the economically disadvantaged, and clothe children. You can go shopping for a purpose in the following ways.</p> <p><strong>Snag Bargains at Yard Sales</strong></p> <p>Because items are donated, the full amount of your purchases (rather than just a small percentage) typically goes directly to the charity.</p> <p><strong>Patronize Retailers Run by Charitable Organizations</strong></p> <p>Some charities operate retail locations such as a gift shop or farmers market. Shop where proceeds benefit a cause or charity that you want to support.</p> <p><strong>Use Discount Coupons</strong></p> <p>Department stores often sponsor charity days that benefit area groups. Buy a coupon and then get discounts on purchases throughout the day or during specified hours.</p> <p><strong>Buy Stuff That Kids Are Selling</strong></p> <p>If proceeds benefit a cause that you are passionate about, then buy the fruit, candy, cookies, popcorn, giftwrap, etc. to support the charitable organization. Sadly, most are overpriced but a few &mdash; like the citrus fruit sales &mdash; are good deals.</p> <p><strong>Shop for a Social Mission</strong></p> <p>Many companies have a social mission that your purchases support, either on a regular basis (like <a href="http://www.toms.com/">Tom's Shoes</a> or <a href="http://www.humblebundle.com/">Humble Bundle</a>)&nbsp;or as a special offer (like <a href="http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/09/that-buzzing-in-my-ear-didnt-mean-i-was-about-to-die.html">End Malaria</a>).</p> <p><strong>Buy Wish-List Items</strong></p> <p>Many charities have items on their wish lists, which might include baby blankets or basketball goals. If you would rather not give a monetary gift, shop for and then donate wish-list items.</p> <p>Shopping to benefit charity can mean spending more than you would otherwise. Stuff that kids sell, for example, often costs significantly more than items sold at a traditional retailer. Scrutinize offers so that you can save money and support a great cause at the same time.</p> <h2>Get Active</h2> <p>Support charity fund-raisers by participating in local athletic events. Proceeds from entry fees benefit sponsoring organizations or designated beneficiaries, consisting of local groups or area chapters of national organizations.</p> <p>Here are some of the events that you may find enjoyable.</p> <p><strong>Run a 5K</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve never run a race, perhaps contributing to a cause will inspire you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">get ready for your first 5K</a>. If you&rsquo;ve already tackled that distance, consider higher-mileage races that benefit one of your favorite charities.</p> <p><strong>Take a Walk</strong></p> <p>Do a charity walk with friends, family, and/or co-workers. Join a team or start your own group.</p> <p><strong>Go on a Bike Ride</strong></p> <p>Look for charity rides in the spring, summer, and fall. One-day events will often have a variety of routes from which to choose, ranging from 10 to 100 miles. Multi-day rides are usually more challenging and may require you to raise funds in addition to paying an entry fee.</p> <p><strong>Participate in a Triathlon </strong></p> <p>A triathlon may be on your bucket list, so competing in one may accomplish a life goal and support charity.</p> <p><strong>Do Something Extreme</strong></p> <p>Extreme events, like this <a href="http://www.cff.org/Chapters/charlotte/index.cfm?id=18909&amp;event=18909">Extreme Hike for Cystic Fibrosis</a>, are put on by organizations that also offer assistance with training and fundraising.</p> <p>Entry fees are not cheap, often ranging from $25 to $45; that amount typically includes food, drink, festivities, and goodie bags with a water bottle and t-shirt. You may also have to raise a minimum amount of money to participate. But, if you enjoy a challenge, look for events that support your favorite charities.</p> <p>You don't have to organize a huge project or make a major gift to make a difference. By noticing what is happening in your community and getting involved, you can support charitable causes locally and worldwide.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to easily support charity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping charitable giving running volunteering Thu, 13 Sep 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Julie Rains 952433 at http://www.wisebread.com Grocery Shopping and the 4-Minute Mile: How to Challenge Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-shopping-and-the-4-minute-mile-how-to-challenge-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grocery-shopping-and-the-4-minute-mile-how-to-challenge-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2554879922_1e6e082f8f_b.jpg" alt="preparing to run" title="preparing to run" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I teach workshops about cutting the grocery budget, I always start with one basic tip &mdash; create a set weekly (or monthly) grocery budget, and stick to it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <p>Why do I recommend setting a specific goal instead of going into the grocery store and just looking for the cheapest variety of everything on your list?</p> <p>Think about the four-minute mile.</p> <p>Yes, I'm seriously comparing grocery shopping to competitive athletics. But I have science backing me up on this!</p> <p>According to the scientific paper <a href="http://www.ida.liu.se/~nilda/Anders_Ericsson/Ericsson_delib_pract.pdf">Development&nbsp;of Superior Expert Performance</a> (PDF) by K. Anders Ericsson, the four-minute mile &ldquo;had been viewed as the ultimate limit for performance, but after (Roger) Bannister broke the four-minute barrier, several other runners were able to do so within a couple of years.&rdquo;</p> <p>Nowadays sub-four-minute miles are normal for professional competitive runners.</p> <p>What does that have to do with grocery shopping? This scientific research shows that no matter what skill we are working on, the only way to achieve superior performance is by targeted practice. When we learn a new skill &mdash; start a job, learn to type, whatever &mdash; we usually improve with practice <em>at first</em> &mdash; UNTIL we achieve an acceptable level of proficiency &mdash; then we go on autopilot.</p> <p>Does <em>autopilot</em> describe you in the grocery store since about age 22? We're out of Cheerios &mdash; in the cart. We need bread &mdash; in the cart. Ooh that's on sale &mdash; in the cart.</p> <p>If you want to run a faster mile or become a better dancer or grocery shop more effectively, you need to get off autopilot. The way an Olympic runner's coach gets her off autopilot is by setting a goal that is just outside her current ability level. This motivates her to find ways to overcome the obstacles between her and that faster mile. The same thing goes for grocery shopping, or any other life skill you'd like to improve.</p> <p>In the example of grocery shopping, my first step was to figure out how much I was spending each week at the supermarket. I knew I was putting in an effort to save, but I honestly didn't know how much I was spending. So first, I simply kept a few week's worth of receipts so I could get a ballpark idea of what I usually spent. This averaged out to about $100 a week for a family of two adults, one kid, and one infant.</p> <p>Second, I decided to set my new grocery budget at 80% of my former spending. So I set the goal of getting everything we needed for a week's worth of healthy meals (and toiletries and household items such as diapers) for $80 a week.</p> <p>Then, of course, I was forced to figure out ways to accomplish that goal. That's where the challenge came in. I tried new things that I would not have tried otherwise &mdash; I checked out nearby stores I had never visited to see if they were less expensive. I researched strategic coupon use and learned a lot of tricks for combining coupons, sales, and other incentives. I started tracking which foods were always less expensive &mdash; which had me <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meat-money-grocery-saving-tips-for-carnivores">buying less meat</a>, of course, and leaning toward carrots and heads of cabbage over green beans and packaged lettuce.</p> <p>You can apply this challenge tactic to any life skill you'd like to improve. Of course, not everything is as easy to quantify as your weekly grocery bill, but everything can be measured. You want to improve your relationship with your kids? Write down every positive activity you did with them in the past week, and then decide how you would like to build on that. Want to play the violin more proficiently? You can challenge yourself in terms of minutes of practice first, then set out specific challenges during that practice time, such as tackling exercises and pieces that are just outside your current ability.</p> <p>Then keep measuring. If your challenge is successful, you may want to set a new goal to keep yourself off autopilot.</p> <p>One more ingredient that is very useful in self-challenging &mdash; accountability. Competitive athletes have coaches and teammates to answer to, but the rest of us are often lonely in our pursuits to better ourselves. Having a running buddy is nice, but sharing your written targets with your running buddy and reviewing them periodically? That's effective self-challenging.</p> <p>Personally, as a <a href="http://chicago.frugalisticmom.com/">frugal blogger</a>, I keep myself accountable by posting my grocery budget goals online and reporting on my weekly shopping trips. Knowing that I will have to tell the world that I went over budget has been a powerful help when faced with the temptation to overspend, especially on things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">wine</a> or chocolate. I can be a harsh coach to myself, but Internet commenters are probably the harshest masters of all!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-shopping-and-the-4-minute-mile-how-to-challenge-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-fridge-door-can-improve-your-life">8 Ways Your Fridge Door Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough">9 Ways to Maintain Motivation When the Going Gets Tough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">Gratitude and Frugality</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Personal Development challenges grocery savings how to improve motivation running Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 923890 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Run Your First 5K http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-run-your-first-5k" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crossing finish line.jpg" alt="crossing finish line" title="Crossing the finish line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Couch to 5K Running Plan and similar programs have inspired and prepared thousands of people to run a 5K. But not everyone who starts such a program crosses the finish line.</p> <p>Age, weight, height, strength, and prior conditioning influence how quickly you can move from an inert state to a 5K finish line. And, if you are short like me and many of my friends, running 30 minutes at a beginner&rsquo;s pace (the goal of many such programs) will NOT allow you to cover 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).</p> <p>Since re-starting my fitness regimen after a 15-year hiatus, I have run a handful of 5Ks plus a couple of 10Ks, completed a sprint triathlon, and finished epic bike rides. Though I have developed new friendships by participating in these events, I'd love to see some of my longtime friends run a 5K. Those who have started have been quickly sidelined by injuries or gotten off track for various reasons.</p> <p>The promise of quick results is appealing (and attainable) for many people, but if a 9-week or even a 12-week program doesn't work for you, there are alternatives. I thought about what it took for me to finish my first 5K and got advice from an expert in exercise physiology. Here are our suggestions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-without-music">How to Run&nbsp;Without Music</a>)</p> <h2>Running a 5K: What Worked for Me</h2> <p>Having athletic experience from my youth gave me the background knowledge to prepare myself when I was older. It wasn't fast, but I made steady progress. Here are the techniques that I used to get ready for my first 5K.</p> <p><strong>Allow Plenty of Time to Get Ready </strong></p> <p>When I decided to tackle a 5K, I had been lifting weights and doing cardio workouts for several months. I doubt I could have gotten ready within a couple of months after just starting my exercise regimen.</p> <p>Allow enough time to build cardio capacity and strength <em>and</em> account for setbacks. Common reasons for missing workouts and not staying on track include:</p> <ul> <li>Bad weather (for those who do not have access to a treadmill or indoor track or don't have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">winter running gear</a>)</li> <li>Illness</li> <li>Schedule conflicts (you underestimated your obligations, things came up unexpectedly, or your running partner couldn&rsquo;t make scheduled runs)</li> <li>Injury</li> </ul> <p>A longer timeframe allows you to focus on your goal but still take breaks (or weeks off) when you must and resume running without guilt or fear of failure.</p> <p><strong>Stop Looking at Your Watch </strong></p> <p>At the suggestion of a fast-running friend, I bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 that tracks my pace, distance, and heart rate. I look at this device attached to my wrist (my &ldquo;watch&rdquo;) frequently &mdash; probably too much. But while I love tracking the numbers, I have noticed that many people are confused by too much information. They just want to run, or walk, or whatever. Whereas the numbers tend to energize me, figuring out and following a formula (running for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, for example) zaps the energy and resolve of many.</p> <p>When I first started, I noted my time and tried to track my pace loosely but spent most of my effort just running, recovering while walking, and then running again. I paid attention to my body, not a specific regimen.</p> <p>So if sticking to precise time frames of running and walking is difficult, do what works for you. Strive to run more and more, but don&rsquo;t get upset (or give up) if you can&rsquo;t run as much as you&rsquo;d like, especially soon after you start.</p> <p><strong>Go the Distance</strong></p> <p>After I signed up for a 5K, I decided to make sure that I could go the distance first and then worry about my speed. Finishing the race was much more important than my time.</p> <p>I started focusing on running 31 times around an indoor track that was approximately one-tenth of a mile (an alternative is to map out a route of 3.1 miles). My fatigue and time at the end of that distance became my &ldquo;worst case scenario.&rdquo;</p> <p>Completing the distance in a workout gave me a confidence boost. Then I could relax about the race and use energy previously devoted to stress toward fitness.</p> <p>Note, however, that the first event I signed up for was a &ldquo;cross-country race.&rdquo; I welcomed not having to run on paved roads with traffic but had no idea that this involved running on a trail in the woods, having to navigate tree roots and, uh, hills. (Don't let hills scare you though &mdash; practice running up them or decide to walk them on race day.)</p> <p><strong>Lift Weights </strong></p> <p>One of the biggest problems I had when I started running again was knee pain. I started using machines to increase my strength, and my stronger muscles were able to protect my joints. Later, I was able to continue running and improve without having to spend a lot of time in the weight room.</p> <p><strong>Rest and Recover </strong></p> <p>When I restarted my fitness regimen, I found that I needed large amounts of recovery time, at least 2-3 days instead of the usually recommended 1-2 days. That means that I ran just one or two times each week, rather than three or four times.</p> <p>In many cases, simply resting enough between workouts helped me to recover from minor injuries. If I had kept pushing despite pain, then I may have caused damage that would have taken weeks or months with physical therapy, rather than a few extra days of recovery here and there.</p> <p>Another reason to allot more time to prepare for a race is to give your body the time to build strength and complete the workouts at a pace that works for you.</p> <p><strong>Eat Well</strong></p> <p>Improve your diet at the same time that you improve your fitness. One of the reasons that I got back into my exercise routine was to avoid heart problems that both of my parents and one of my in-laws developed when they got older. I adopted dietary recommendations given to them, specifically started reading labels and avoiding trans fats. I am not sure, but I often wonder if my diet helped me to push myself to a higher fitness level.</p> <h2>What Experts Recommend</h2> <p>Sarah Dlugosz at <a href="http://kingleyhealth.com/programs/prevention">Kingley Health</a> spent five months getting a group of obese and previously sedentary individuals ready for a 5K. She gave me tips on what worked for them.</p> <p><strong>Do Interval Training</strong></p> <p>Interval training involves pushing yourself and then recovering lightly before pushing yourself again (at regular or random intervals). To incorporate this type of training into your regimen, alternate running at moderate and fast paces, increasing speed over time. The speed helps boost your fitness level and, naturally, helps you finish the 5K at a faster pace than otherwise. (Note that physicians are consulted prior to beginning the program.)</p> <p><strong>Log Distance and Speed</strong></p> <p>Track your distance and speed. Seeing results (that is, increasing your distance, speed, or both) is motivating and inspires you to stick with the program.</p> <p><strong>Run With a Group</strong></p> <p>Running with a group creates a social and fun atmosphere that keeps you engaged. These fellow runners serve as accountability partners, as Matt suggested in his article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-an-exercise-plan">sticking to an exercise plan</a>.</p> <p><strong>Celebrate Milestones</strong></p> <p>By tracking your progress and running with friends, you can identify and celebrate running milestones on the path to finishing your first race. Sarah suggests that milestones may include running a mile without stopping or running a couple of miles without pain.</p> <p><strong>Get Technical</strong></p> <p>Prior to starting the program, participants received a Functional Movement Screening (FMS) along with a fitness assessment. Those with any asymmetries, immobility issues, or instability were given corrective exercises to ensure proper bio mechanics. They also followed any guidelines that their physicians may have had.</p> <p><strong>Stretch and Practice Sole Training</strong></p> <p>Stretch after running, not only your legs but also your feet. Sarah uses sole training, exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and stability in the feet and ankles. (I have never had problems with my feet until I started training for a half-marathon. Though I am not familiar with this method, I have found that stretching my feet after a long run has helped deal with pain and prevent injury.)</p> <p><em>How did you overcome problems to run your first 5K? Share your tips in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Switching Addictions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">Exercising in a Winter Wonderland: How to Be Fit and Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty competition exercise running Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:48:12 +0000 Julie Rains 876679 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Self-Discipline Tricks I Learned From the Marathon http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/runners_post_race.jpg" alt="Runners post-race" title="Runners post-race" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of my life, I&rsquo;ve been a competitive distance runner. I&rsquo;ve run more than 100 miles in a week, competed at several distances, and trained through all kinds of terrible weather. I think you could say that discipline comes easily to me. If I really decide to do something, I will do it (possibly at all costs). But to be honest, I haven&rsquo;t always been successful at applying that level of discipline in all areas of my life; I&rsquo;ll work logistical wonders to get my run in, but procrastinate for weeks when it comes to taking care of business in other areas. That said, distance running has taught me more than a few things about self-discipline, some of which I&rsquo;ve used to grind my way through other tough situations. As we approach the New Year, many of you may be making resolutions. Whether you&rsquo;re looking to get in shape, get out of debt, or tackle some other challenge, here are some tips I hope will help you see those goals through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">Trade in&nbsp;New Year's Resolutions for Achieving Life Goals</a>)</p> <h3>1. Don&rsquo;t Leave Room for Excuses</h3> <p>When I head out for a morning run, my door bursts open at 7:45 a.m., and I&rsquo;m in full stride before I even hit the street. Rather than stand at my window and wage an internal battle about whether it&rsquo;s too hot/cold/icy/wet to get out there like I&rsquo;ve planned, I&rsquo;ve gotten into the habit of running down the stairs and rights through the front door &mdash; before the weather can change my mind.</p> <p>If you give yourself the time to make excuses, you&rsquo;ll probably come up with some pretty good ones. But if you let too many of these win over too often, your goals will soon fall by the wayside. If you have a goal you want to achieve, try to remove as much room for excuses as possible. Want to save more money? Set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account on payday. Looking to get out of debt? Find out what often makes you cave to temptation, then work on keeping yourself out of those situations. That old expression about excuses says that we all have them. It&rsquo;s true, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean they&rsquo;re a good source of advice.</p> <h3>2. It&rsquo;s Not As Bad as You Think It Is</h3> <p>I live in a northern Canadian city, which typically means <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">very cold winters</a>. And yes, I still run. But what I&rsquo;ve noticed over the years is that even on the days when the snow is swirling outside my window and the air is so cold and clear you can hardly breathe it in &mdash; the days when I dread going out and worry about frozen eyelashes and frost-bitten toes &mdash; when I do get out there, it&rsquo;s never as bad as I imagined. And I&rsquo;ve noticed the same thing when I&rsquo;ve had to give a presentation at work or do something else that takes me out of my comfort zone &mdash; my dread of the situation far surpasses it in reality. As it turns out, my imagination takes a mundane situation and turns it into a monster, and that often makes me procrastinate, make excuses, and generally avoid what is actually a much smaller trial than I anticipated.</p> <h3>3. Set Yourself Up for Success</h3> <p>I often write goals down &mdash; and even stick them up on the fridge. Moving my goal from the comfortable privacy of my mind out into the open for my friends and family to see makes it real &mdash; and makes me accountable. That goal becomes more than just something I&rsquo;m thinking about; it&rsquo;s something I&rsquo;m actively working on.</p> <p>First, however, you have to settle on a goal that you can actually achieve. This isn&rsquo;t to say you shouldn&rsquo;t be ambitious, but you should be realistic &mdash; and recognize that you can always move toward a bigger goal in the future. If you want to get out of debt this year, for example, take a look at how much debt you can realistically pay down in 2012 and how you will make it happen. Then, post a note to yourself in a visible place, and mark down your progress as you go. If your debt is bigger than your net income, you&rsquo;re not going to be paying it off before the year is out. Rather than set yourself up for failure, choose a goal you can realistically achieve. Once you get there, you can always set a new one to take you the rest of the way.</p> <h3>4. Provide an Escape Hatch</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever run a marathon, you might be familiar with the &ldquo;one more mile&rdquo; trick. It comes in handy for met at around the 20-mile mark, when I often feel like sitting down on the curb, throwing up my hands, crossing my arms, and perhaps indulging in some pouting about how the whole marathon thing is just too hard. That&rsquo;s when I make a bargain with myself. I will run <em>one more mile</em> &mdash; and not a step more. In other words, I break down what seems like an insurmountable task into manageable pieces. And, bit by bit, I coax myself to the finish line.</p> <p>Next time you&rsquo;re overwhelmed with a big task or goal, break off a tiny part of it and work on just that. Chances are, once you finish, you&rsquo;ll be game for more.</p> <h3>Training for Discipline</h3> <p>I think self-discipline is a muscle; flex it regularly, and it&rsquo;s likely to get a whole lot stronger. This doesn&rsquo;t mean you&rsquo;ll always succeed at what you set out to do, but taking the first steps in the right direction is often the hardest part. After that, it&rsquo;s all about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">putting one foot in front of the other</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-failed-new-years-resolutions-with-3-simple-steps">Eliminate Failed New Year&#039;s Resolutions with 3 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions">5 Ways to Keep Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-stellar-reasons-to-hire-a-life-coach">3 Stellar Reasons to Hire a Life Coach</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development achieving goals new year's resolutions running self-discipline Tue, 27 Dec 2011 11:00:19 +0000 Tara Struyk 839373 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Getting Out of Debt is Like Running a Marathon http://www.wisebread.com/why-getting-out-of-debt-is-like-running-a-marathon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-getting-out-of-debt-is-like-running-a-marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/marathon_debt.jpg" alt="Marathon runners" title="Marathon runners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In December 2007, I ran my first marathon. (Interestingly, in December 2007, I also ran my last marathon.) Though I&rsquo;ve decided not to be an annual marathon runner, the process of training for a marathon taught me a lot about life, money, and motivation.</p> <h3>The Motivation to Run a Marathon</h3> <p>One day I was telling stories with a friend who was on the heavier side of heavy. He was talking about some of his world travels and mentioned that he ran a marathon in Greece. The rest of the evening I couldn&rsquo;t think about anything else &mdash; HE, the big guy &mdash; had run a marathon.</p> <p>Early the next morning I started my watch and took off from my campus apartment. My plan was simply to run as far as I could to get a gauge of my physical fitness. Between three and four minutes later, I stopped a block or two from home and had to start to walk.</p> <p>This was not good news.</p> <p>Still, I was hooked. I was convinced that I could run a marathon, and I spent the next 15 months training. In December of 2007, I ran the marathon.</p> <p>So what does that have to do with finances?</p> <p>Some people love reading debt-free stories. I&rsquo;ve never quite understood that. Then I connected that with my own motivation to run a marathon.</p> <p>The accomplishments of others inspire us.&nbsp; If you read about a family that just paid off $124,000 in debt, you're going to say to yourself, &quot;if they can do that, why can&rsquo;t I?&quot; If you&rsquo;re having difficulty getting motivated to pay off your debt and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-grip-on-your-debt-how-to-obtain-a-clear-concise-financial-snapshot">get a grip on your finances</a>, then you should read some good debt-free stories like <a href="http://personalfinancebythebook.com/debt-free-in-one-year-a-true-story/">&quot;Debt Free in One Year&quot;</a> or Fiscal Geek's <a href="http://www.fiscalgeek.com/2010/01/debt-free/">&quot;We're Debt Free!&quot;</a> Dave Ramsey&rsquo;s book <em>Total Money Makeover</em> has some great stories too. Just keep reading until you find your inspiration.</p> <p>Among many other lessons learned from running the marathon, I learned something important about myself. I had enough grit and determination to do anything that I really committed to doing. I think of the masses of people who have piles of debt: All they need is a little perspective and a lot of grit.</p> <h3>How to Run Your Get-Out-of-Debt Marathon</h3> <p>To compete in a money marathon, you&rsquo;ll need to agree to a few basic rules:</p> <p><strong>1. Act financially responsible even when it&rsquo;s hard.</strong></p> <p>There will be times when you feel like eating at TGI Friday&rsquo;s instead of having leftover potatoes and ham. There will be times when you&rsquo;re sure that a shopping binge at the local mall will heal your emotional wounds. If you have credit card debt problems, there will be times when you just want to forget about the whole idea of getting into financial shape.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re running a marathon, you just keep training even when you don&rsquo;t want to. The same is true of finances.</p> <p><strong>2. Ignore friends who say you&rsquo;re crazy.</strong></p> <p>Your friends won&rsquo;t always understand you. Sure, they want to see you get out of debt or improve your finances, but this whole don&rsquo;t-take-a-vacation thing will seem a little too extreme for them. They won&rsquo;t always understand why you&rsquo;re so serious and intense when it comes to debt repayment.</p> <p>The good news is they don&rsquo;t have to get it.&nbsp; They don&rsquo;t have to understand it.&nbsp; As long as you&rsquo;re motivated to do it, that is all that matters.</p> <p><strong>3. Make a long-term commitment.</strong></p> <p>You can&rsquo;t train for a marathon in a few short months, and most people take longer than a few months to get out of debt.</p> <p>There are lots of false starts when it comes to improving finances.&nbsp; You might make it for a few weeks, and then it gets too hard. But if you are going to run a money marathon, you&rsquo;ll need a long-term commitment to see this thing through to the finish.</p> <p><strong>4. Get support from your social network.</strong></p> <p>Just like you need to ignore those who don&rsquo;t understand you, you&rsquo;ll need to surround yourself with those that do. Find others who have similar goals and interests for their finances, and use them to motivate yourself as you motivate others.</p> <p><strong>5. Track your progress.</strong></p> <p>You don&rsquo;t want to wait for months on end to see your progress. By keeping detailed records and getting organized, you&rsquo;ll enjoy a lot of small payoffs along the way that help you keep motivated. With this free debt-snowball spreadsheet, you can track your progress as you go along.&nbsp;</p> <p>Small victories along the way make a big victory possible.</p> <p><em>So, how many of you are ready to run your first get-out-of-debt marathon this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-getting-out-of-debt-is-like-running-a-marathon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to Do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-proactive-things-you-can-do-right-now">12 Proactive Things You Can Do Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all">Goal Setting: Getting Out of Debt Once and For All</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-self-discipline-tricks-i-learned-from-the-marathon">4 Self-Discipline Tricks I Learned From the Marathon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-free-living-is-attainable-if-you-want-it-you-can-have-it">Debt-Free Living IS Attainable: If You Want It, You Can Have It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management achieving goals debt goals get out of debt running Wed, 12 Jan 2011 13:00:09 +0000 Craig Ford 447714 at http://www.wisebread.com Exercising in a Winter Wonderland: How to Be Fit and Frugal http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/running_in_show.jpg" alt="Running in snow" title="Running in snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While training for a marathon last winter, I quit my gym membership. Running 18 miles on a treadmill is simply not possible (one could argue, successfully, that running 18 miles is simply insane altogether, but that&rsquo;s beside the point). What this experience taught me was that it&rsquo;s not only possible to stay fit in the frigid winter months; it&rsquo;s also possible to enjoy your workout without spending a lot on a new gym membership. Here are some ideas to get you moving on your own exercise routine this season:</p> <h3>Buy Good Outdoor Workout Gear</h3> <p>This is an absolute must for me. I couldn&rsquo;t live without my Under Armour fitted running tights and my moisture-wicking top. My standard winter-running outfit keeps me warm after I start moving and wicks away moisture to keep me dry. According to an article in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/health/nutrition/17BEST.html?pagewanted=1&amp;_r=1"><em>New York Times</em></a>, this is the perfect combination for outdoor exercise apparel because it prevents hypothermia, which is brought on by the combination of sweat and cold. You should also buy gear that covers most of your exposed skin in order to prevent frostbite. If bare skin starts to ache, that means that it has fallen to a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit; if it reaches 50, it goes numb. Frostbite occurs when your skin temperature falls to 27 degrees. As an avid outdoor runner, I can tell you that while I have had tingly fingers and toes during some of the colder winter months, I have never had frostbite because I have invested in the appropriate outdoor gear for runners. I can also tell you that being outdoors in the winter, when the majority of the world is inside (and missing out on some beautiful mornings!), is exhilarating.</p> <h3>Find a Good Workout DVD</h3> <p>Not convinced that you want to mix exercise and freezing temps? You could check out a new exercise DVD. No, I&rsquo;m not suggesting you buy the popular-but-pricey <a href="http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?tnt=P90X_MS_A1&amp;code=SEMB_GOOGLE_P90X&amp;extcmp=e79dc8a93ec8447a&amp;ef_id=Hn5M99UgAgABRIg:20101206015958:s">P90X</a>&reg; or <a href="http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity.do?gclid=CLzq7bTE1qUCFcNi2godMSYZDA&amp;code=SEMB_GOOGLE_SAN&amp;extcmp=13286778763&amp;ef_id=Hn5M99UgAgABRIg:20101206020209:s">Insanity</a>&reg; workouts, or that you purchase a <a href="http://wiifit.com/">Wii Fit</a>, although those are good ways to get moving indoors. Instead, you could try saving money and getting fit by trying a workout DVD. Try checking out this list of <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/magazine-more/inside-magazine/road-tests/best-workout-dvds-00000000028354/index.html">the best workout DVDs</a> as rated by <em><a href="http://www.realsimple.com/">Real Simple Magazine</a></em>, or try this list of <a href="http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/gear/dvds/10-best-workout-dvds/">the 10 best</a> as rated by <em><a href="http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/">Fitness Magazine</a></em>. If you&rsquo;re looking to save even more money, try looking for fitness DVDs at your local library (mine has them for rent!), or order one using your <a href="http://www.netflix.com/">Netflix</a> subscription.</p> <h2><make workout="" indoor="" own="" your=""></make></h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not one to follow along with a workout on TV, try making your own indoor workout to stay fit this winter. Start with buying some inexpensive hand weights, resistance bands, or a medicine ball. Then just search online for workouts centered around your equipment or the area of your body that you&rsquo;re looking to tone. You could also create a workout binder to keep yourself on track &mdash; mine has favorite weight-lifting moves and stretches from pages I&rsquo;ve found in fitness magazines, as well as a workout calendar. Tracking your progress in the binder will also help keep you motivated.</p> <h3>Buy a Gym Membership</h3> <p>OK, I know the opening paragraph of this article says that this is about saving money without spending a lot on the gym, but it <em>is </em>possible to get your gym fix, stay out of the cold, and save money. Try buying a month-to-month membership during the winter months at a local facility rather than signing up for a long-term commitment. My <a href="http://www.ymca.net/">YMCA</a> offers low monthly rates without a contract, and a nearby university offers month-to-month memberships for people associated with the university (including alumni association members, which includes me!). Signing up for a gym membership near the beginning of a new year often means that new-member fees are waived, too &mdash; always an added bonus.</p> <p>So there are my tips for keeping on track with your workouts while being budget-conscious too. Before you get started on your own routine for the New Year, check out the CDC&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html">guidelines for physical activity</a> to give you a baseline on workout frequency and intensity. Then leave me a comment on what you&rsquo;re going to do to stay fit and fiscally responsible in the coming year!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Switching Addictions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">How to Run Your First 5K</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty affordable exercise exercise running winter Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:00:09 +0000 Janey Osterlind 422597 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Run Without Music http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-without-music <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-run-without-music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Woman Running.jpg" alt="woman running on beach" title="woman running on beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't run with music (or podcasts, audio books, etc.) but I can understand the attraction. Logging lots of miles can be boring and pushing yourself can be difficult without distraction. If you want to try something new or need help getting through a race that bans audio devices, there are ways to run without music.</p> <h2>Talk</h2> <p>If you have a running buddy, then you can talk to that person. This approach works well for long runs in which you aren't exerting all-out effort and have enough oxygen available to carry on a conversation. You may have to dig for topics, but often it's easier to put thought into finding and discussing mutual interests than dwelling on how you feel or how many more miles you have until you're finished.</p> <h2>Solve problems</h2> <p>Think about ways to solve a particular problem. Very often, concentrated effort with few or no distractions can free your mind for productive thoughts. This time alone can yield valuable insights into actions you should take to solve a problem. You may decide that the problem isn't worth worrying about anymore, especially if you've run far and fast enough to release endorphins.</p> <h2>Pray</h2> <p>For those of you who believe in a deity who listens, running is a great time to pray. Use this free time to pray for a friend, or simply request wisdom and guidance.</p> <h2>Meditate</h2> <p>Running can take you to a state of consciousness that is similar to that achieved through meditation. Rid yourself of day-to-day concerns and focus on the present.</p> <h2>Fume</h2> <p>I realize that fuming about a situation may not go along very well with my recommendation to pray or meditate. Nevertheless, sometimes that extra energy can be directed to the physical effort of running, rather than expressing anger.</p> <h2>Listen</h2> <p>Become more attuned to the physical surroundings unique to your running route. Listen to dogs barking, people talking, cars honking, lawnmowers buzzing, and birds singing.</p> <p>For the past few months, I've been participating in a group triathlon training program sponsored by my local YMCA. On a couple of occasions, my colleagues-in-training have come to runs with earbuds attached to music devices. My coach has been quick to point out that while he's okay with the music, many event organizers don't allow them. At least some of the time, it's best to practice in a way that simulates race-day activities. Learn to listen for instructions and splits from race organizers, and concentrate on your race strategy.</p> <p>Relax and pace yourself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-without-music">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-unexpected-uses-for-mineral-oil">30 Unexpected Uses for Mineral Oil</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm">Want to Keep Your Disposable Razor Blades Sharp? Use Your Arm</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-places-to-buy-inexpensive-natural-beauty-products">24 Places to Buy Inexpensive Natural Beauty Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty running Mon, 20 Sep 2010 12:00:06 +0000 Julie Rains 234553 at http://www.wisebread.com Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First. http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/509920393_10c0278c10_o.jpg" alt="Bike dumped" title="Bike dumped" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don&rsquo;t worry, this is not an expos&eacute; on bad equipment or faulty products; I&rsquo;m no expert on exercise machines and products. But I do know a little about human nature and after many chats with friends and family, I&rsquo;ve come to one conclusion &ndash; most people don&rsquo;t buy exercise equipment to work out; they buy it because they think it will <strong>motivate</strong> them to work out, and make working-out easier and more fun.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">How many times have you walked past a garage sale in your area and seen a barely-used piece of exercise equipment parked on the sidewalk? Or, to be more direct, how many times have you bought a piece of exercise equipment that you used a few times and then put into storage?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;m guilty of it. I first encountered this phenomenon back as a young boy intent on building some muscle. I bought a weight set (that my dad had to help me carry home &ndash; now that&rsquo;s irony on a base level) and assembled it in my bedroom, ready to make myself look like a young Schwarzenegger. I think I gave up after 10 weeks. The weights were dismantled and stored in my closet. Well, except for one small dumbbell that served as a very handy doorstop.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> In college, I bought a pull-up bar and a sit-up machine. This time I was ready to do some serious crunches and build some big biceps. I don&rsquo;t even think the pull-up bar made it out of the box. But I did do some crunches. Not many, but some. Then it was hidden from view under my bed for three years, before being given away to a friend for the princely sum of one beer. By the way, he never used it either.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> When I got married, I bought more weights. They are currently gathering dust in the garage. I also bought a rowing machine, and yesterday I finally pulled it out to start using it. Luckily, I bought it used for $25 &ndash; my thinking here was that if I was going to buy something I would only use a few times, at least I had only dropped $25 on it. What kind of mentality is that?!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>It's all about motivation</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Anyway, after asking around, I discovered that I&rsquo;m in a huge majority. Most people buy exercise equipment because they have romanticized the idea of working out. They watch the ads and infomercials, and everything looks so easy and so much fun. Plus, people look great after just a few months.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s not the equipment that&rsquo;s to blame by the way. My rowing machine works great. Elliptical machines and exercise bikes work really well. Weights are guaranteed to be effective if you use them correctly. No, what is missing here is a lack of motivation, and it&rsquo;s something that no amount of money can buy.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here&rsquo;s the crux of the matter. Most of us already own a fantastic piece of workout equipment. It&rsquo;s our own body. We can use our own bodies to work out, using push ups, sit ups, jogging, yoga, pilates and more. I knew a guy in college that was built like a tank and he didn&rsquo;t own one piece of equipment. He couldn&rsquo;t afford it, so he worked out in his bedroom by doing a mixture of exercises, including 100 push-ups, every single morning. He had the motivation, and the dedication, and if he&rsquo;d been given a piece of equipment you can bet your bottom dollar he&rsquo;d have used it.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> The promise of looking great, coupled with slick advertisements and the quest for a better, healthier body, is enough to make us all open up our wallets and drop a bunch of money on the next great hope. But sadly, for most of us, that shiny new piece of equipment will one day become a dusty new bargain in a garage sale.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">So, by all means buy your new workout machine, but make sure you have the motivation first. If you&rsquo;ve sat on the sofa for six hours every night, eating chips and drinking soda, an exercise bike won&rsquo;t turn you into a new person. But if you get off that couch and start doing something about it, from a walk to a few push-ups every morning, then maybe you are ready to invest in something that will help you out. Remember&hellip;there is no substitute for motivation and dedication. And no amount of money can buy that for you.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Switching Addictions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">Fitness For People Who Hate Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping exercise Health jogging machine running workout Thu, 09 Jul 2009 16:35:57 +0000 Paul Michael 3363 at http://www.wisebread.com Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman running near water.jpg" alt="woman runnning near water" title="women running near water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How are your resolutions to get fit, exercise more, and lose weight going? If you need a nudge or some encouragement, check out my doable-with-a-busy-schedule approach to getting results. </p> <p><strong>Quick Start Guide</strong></p> <ul> <li>Start doing some form of exercise every day (walk around the block, take the stairs rather than the elevator); try to do more intense workouts at least at couple of times weekly (ideal is 3-5 times/week). </li> <li>If you haven’t already, set an achievable goal. You might decide that you’ll lift weights 3 days per week or walk 1 mile every day or run 20 miles per week. Or, you can aim for improving your mile time, or 100 yard freestyle time, or cycling speed. Still yet, you might want to sign up for a community walk, 5K, or charity bike ride. </li> <li>Try <a href="http://www.revolutionhealth.com/healthy-living/fitness/workouts/strength-muscle-training/weight-training" title="http://www.revolutionhealth.com/healthy-living/fitness/workouts/strength-muscle-training/weight-training">weight training to lose weight</a> (it can increase your metabolism) and build strength, which helps to <a href="http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical/sports/147.html" title="http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical/sports/147.html">avoid injury</a>. </li> <li>Get gear (clothing, shoes, equipment, and supplies) from local shops; you may pay more but you’ll be more likely to get the right gear the first time and you should be able to get training advice and/or tips on local groups that offer training support. </li> <li>Schedule your workouts as if they were appointments or business meetings, especially if you always seem to be pressed for time. </li> <li><a href="http://runningtimes.com/blog/?p=19" title="http://runningtimes.com/blog/?p=19">Rest</a>, eat well, and drink plenty of water. Your body needs to recover in order to become stronger. </li> </ul> <p><strong>Track your progress</strong> from month to month (or whatever time period seems reasonable to you) by measuring your: </p> <ul> <li>Weight and/or body size (chest, waist, thighs)</li> <li>Resting heart rate (when you get up in the morning) </li> <li>Heart rate after climbing a bunch of stairs or running a mile or whatever activity you choose</li> </ul> <p>These measurements should decrease though you may gain weight from having extra muscle or even increase in body size if you started with a thin body, based on my observations. (Consult a medical professional or trainer if you&#39;d like personalized information on body changes). </p> <p>To me, much of the exercise battle (besides finding time) is feeling confident about what you’re doing; if you need help putting together an exercise program, ask for help from an athletic friend or someone who works at the shop where you bought your gear, hire a trainer, buy a book on training, or check out <a href="http://www.activetrainer.com/" title="http://www.activetrainer.com/ ">an online training plan</a>. To get you going and speaking intelligently about training regimens, here&#39;s some <strong>athletic lingo:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_training" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_training">Interval Training</a>: sets of sprints (going really fast for say 30 seconds to 2 minutes) with short periods of recovery (time to catch your breath before doing another sprint); others may describe interval training as  hard work for several minutes followed by recovery</li> <li><strong>Endurance Training</strong>: running, walking, swimming, or cycling for long distances, which may range from one to 100 miles depending on the sport, your fitness level, and goals</li> <li><strong>Strength Training</strong>: building stronger muscles by lifting weights, which I like to do through resistance training using non-free-weight-type machines (such as Cybex or Nautilus brand equipment)</li> <li><strong>Splits</strong>: your time at specific intervals of a race; for example if you are running a 10K, you might get mile splits telling you how fast you are running each mile so that you can increase your pace or relax a bit in order to conserve energy for the end of the race</li> <li><strong>Pace clock</strong>: a time-measurement device found on swimming pool decks indicating time within each minute in 5-second increments (usually with 1-second hash marks); for more <a href="http://www.wsumastersswimming.org/workouts/lingo.html" title="http://www.wsumastersswimming.org/workouts/lingo.html">swim-related lingo</a>, see this Masters Swimming site </li> <li><strong>5K/10K</strong>: distances of approximately 3.1/6.2 miles, usually for a foot race</li> <li><strong>Century/Metric Century Bike Ride</strong>: 100 miles/62 miles (give or take a few miles, depending on road layouts) </li> <li><strong>Drafting</strong>: riding close behind another cyclist, letting the other person block the wind in order to conserve energy (you are supposed to take turns being the lead person)</li> <li><strong>Open water swim</strong>: swimming event or training activity not held in a pool but rather in a lake, river, or ocean </li> <li><strong>Grade</strong>: steepness of trail or road that you are running or cycling </li> <li><strong>SAG support</strong>: people in motorized vehicles (often vans) who follow cyclists and provide support if someone needs help (has a flat tire or just gets tired); see Wikipedia for more <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycling_terminology" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycling_terminology">cycling terminology</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.marathonguide.com/training/articles/HeartMonitorTraining.cfm" title="http://www.marathonguide.com/training/articles/HeartMonitorTraining.cfm ">Heart-rate based training</a>: training based on heart rate and using a heart monitor (seems lot a lot of math while sweating but apparently this method is helpful to many people) </li> <li><strong>Road/Mountain/Hybrid Bikes</strong>: types of bicycles made specifically for the road, trails in the woods, and a mixture of surfaces (asphalt, ground, gravel), respectively </li> <li><strong>No Drop</strong>: bicycle rides where the pace is set for the slowest rider and/or other riders will wait at intersections for the slower riders</li> <li><strong>Taper</strong>: reducing your workout load and/or intensity before a competitive event in order to prevent your body from being tired on race day and have peak performance</li> <li><strong>Personal best</strong>: your best time for a particular type of race (5K road race; Century bike ride) or your best time for a specific race that follows the same path every year  </li> </ul> <p>For those of you who have set a goal to <strong>participate in a community athletic event</strong>, here are my steps to success: </p> <ul> <li>Find events in your area by visiting <a href="http://www.active.com/">www.active.com</a> or looking for flyers at bike shops, gyms, and sporting goods stores</li> <li>Look at race results from prior years to judge competitiveness of an event; don’t let speedy people deter you but it is helpful to get an idea of what times are within a normal range and/or when rest stops may be closed and SAG support ends. </li> <li>Register for events in advance in order to get a slight discount (usually $5 on a fee of $15-20) and guarantee a space in the event, if participation is limited</li> <li>Sign the waiver, which seem scary but nearly all well-organized events will require you to sign a waiver indicating that you have trained for the event and understand the risks associated with participating</li> <li>Get your registration materials, such as your race number (attach to your shirt with safety pins provided) or ID bracelet, cue sheet with directions and turns (bicycle rides), and goody bag with an event t-shirt (if included in race fee) and promotional items</li> <li>Have fun!</li> </ul> <p>Whatever you do, be persistent even when you get waylaid by outside obligations; you&#39;ll be amazed at the cumulative, beneficial effect of exercise.</p> <p><em>These ideas are based on my experiences as an AAU swimmer, high school track team member, occasional runner, and wannabe faster cyclist.</em> <em>It is helpful to get professional training advice or even consult a physician before starting your own regimen. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Switching Addictions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-science-says-will-make-you-smarter">5 Habits Science Says Will Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">How to Run Your First 5K</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty cycling exercise interval training running training training regimen Wed, 16 Apr 2008 02:11:18 +0000 Julie Rains 2007 at http://www.wisebread.com GYM Class: THE DIY, DIFNF Thesis http://www.wisebread.com/gym-class-the-diy-difnf-thesis <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gym-class-the-diy-difnf-thesis" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Wisebread GYM Glass picture.jpg" alt="Do it yourself, Do it for nearly free" title="Got those tickets to the gun show!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="116" height="107" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span>Our modern America is a no longer a producer’s economy but a consumer economy. That’s not conjecture or philosophy, it’s a sad fact and the reason for the current credit crunch in equity, debt and housing markets as well as the reason George W. Bush wants to give you $800 bucks in a rebate check so you can go straight to Circuit City, Target or wherever, to “boost” the economy.</span></p> <p><span>It’s tricknology folks. </span></p> <p><span>And what I mean by that is that a lot of times as consumers we are compelled by false shortages, told to go shopping, lest the terrorists win. Moreover we often buy things more for piece and peace of mind than for utility. <span> </span>And corporations count on us to buy items and let them collect dust so that when we see the dust, we are convinced that the good we purchased is obsolete. A lot of treadmills bought for the home serve as laundry hampers, dry-wall holder-uppers and post modern art as a case in point.</span></p> <p><span>This is why from late November through late April of every dual calendar year, exercise machine firms, fitness centers and gyms -- I like to call them, one-way banks or reverse ATMS -- see their greatest uptick in revenue. <span> </span>Many are determined after Thanksgiving to get that weight down, but too busy or cold in the post-Super Bowl, <span> </span>pre-spring doldrums to care that 24-Hour Fitness, Bally’s Total Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Equinox are getting direct deposit like they’re employed by you. </span><span>Hence, the reality: physical fitness is an $11 billion industry and the weight loss business tops out at $30 billion. That’s $41 billion clams for just about the most indulgent, fattest country in the history of mankind. </span></p> <p><span>What gives? Apparently us, in time and money.</span></p> <p><span>Now if you go to the gym to be seen, look cute in your new jogging suit, get premium advice from that ripped dude or that hot chick who is so cut she needs a band-aid, then more power to you. If you’re disciplined and have a certain fitness goal that can only be attained by being motivated by others, then fine. The gyms I mentioned are all decent places to do these things.</span></p> <p><span>Just realize that for a 30-minute workout, three to five times a week, you will likely spend an average of $200 a month in both real and opportunity costs. Not everyone is a between jobs actor, an independent contractor or a M.I.LF who doesn’t work and stays home with the kids. Many really <em>don’t </em>have time for fitness as most of America is working to buy the ab-flexer rather than actually use it. Here’s how many gym routines tend to work: </span></p> <p><span><em>So to go to the gym you get in your car, you park, you go in, you check in, you get dressed, you come out, you stretch, you do some measly cardio workout on a machine or lift weights wrong or go to a class that works up a sweat. You shower, you get changed, you get in your car, you sit in traffic and maybe you buy a burger and you get home just in time to go to sleep. If you do it in the morning, repeat process and rinse down with Mocha and a scone. You could potentially drop $5,000 per annum in this routine if you’re not careful and be the same porker/flabmiester/wasteful gym rat that you were after Turkey day.</em> </span></p> <p><span>This blogger’s advice: DIY, DIFNF. (Do it yourself , Do it for Nearly free)</span></p> <p><strong><span>Run: </span></strong><span>That’s it. Go somewhere and run ‘til you get tired. Walking fast is also good.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Get a rope: </span></strong><span>Buy a cheap plastic or leather jump rope: 300 repetitions everyday, you’d be surprised at the results.</span></p> <p><span><strong>You take the weight:</strong> If it&#39;s too cold to go outside, wear small weights on your wrists and ankles and run, jump or walk in place.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Smooth-E:</strong> Eating fruits and vegatables will shape off pounds immediately. If you don&#39;t like the taste grind it up and drink it down.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Use Rubber and/or YouTube.</strong> Allusions aside<strong>, </strong>find some rubber tubing and do resistance stretches and lifts. Internet research will show you how if you&#39;re interested. Not using that bike you bought? Slip the bike&#39;s clean innertube around your upper back, stretch it out in front of you with your hands, get down and crank out 200 reps of pushups! Same for sit ups. And forget workout tapes and DVDs, if you have the technological capability, YouTube has an extensive library of workout jerks for you to mimic. Someone mentioned in the comments section that podcasts are good to listen to as well.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Hit the pipe: </span></strong><span>Not that pipe, you&#39;d probably get skinny faster than you want to. I&#39;m talking a metal 3/4&quot; PVC and connectors with pipe insulation for the handles that will set you back less than ten bayzacs. You can use this to make a push up bar, or chin up bar, which can be built in a half an hour.</span></p> <p><span><strong> </strong></span><span><strong>In the bag</strong>: Buy a heavy bag for your house and punch the crap out of it with some padded gloves or some handwraps-- with controlled compact punches and sharp breaths --  until you&#39;re soaked with sweat or can barely lift your arms. Punching it 100-300 times a day is the equivalent of a really good workout, probably the best cardio and conditioning excercise around actually.</span></p> <p><span>The gym is cool, just like eating out, just like going to a bar instead of a liquor store. But if you employ the DIY, DIFNF method, when you make the summer debut that you worked out all spring and winter for anyway, your pockets will more than likely be fatter than you are.</span></p> <p><span>BTW, if you have a fitness center at your apartment complex or are close with someone who does -- a relative, a girlfriend/boyfriend or good friend --- and you still pay to workout, (picture me shrugging my shoulders and wagging my finger) you should do some serious thinking. </span></p> <p><span>It&#39;s time to beat tricknology and look good doing it!</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.oo-rah.com/Store/pt/pt1011.asp" target="_top"></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gym-class-the-diy-difnf-thesis">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conspicuous-spending-fading-to-black">Conspicuous Spending: Fading to Black</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-post-really-suk-kuks-examining-islamic-finance">This Post Really Suk-kuks: Examining Islamic Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Excercise fitness running savings YouTube Sun, 20 Jan 2008 18:31:19 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 1654 at http://www.wisebread.com Switching Addictions http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/switching-addictions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000061360910_Large.jpg" alt="man running sunrise" title="man running sunrise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hi, my name is Andrea, and I read <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/" target="_blank">Runner's World</a> magazine.</p> <p>[Hi, Andrea].</p> <p>I started reading it a couple of years ago. At first, it was just a glance or two when I was at Barnes and Noble trying to pass a cold, rainy Sunday. Then I started looking at it more carefully, actually reading the articles and analyzing the nutrition charts. After that, I maybe tried a few of the lunges and ab crunches. Finally, I bought and issue and took it home. I was hooked. I even started subscribing, and I read it religiously for two years.</p> <p>What I love about Runner's World are the inspirational stories and columns that seem to come standard with every issue. And these are my guilty pleasures; pleasures, because I feel inspired by the stories of the struggles and victories of people who have faced much harder circumstances than I have, and guilty because despite the inspiration, I never quite seem to get myself in gear.</p> <h2>The Shame! The Joy!</h2> <p>Because I'm not a runner, I hide my issues of Runner's World from everyone save a few people who already know me well enough not to laugh. It's sort of my Chicken Soup for the Lazy-Ass Soul.</p> <p>It was the Warmup article in the March 2007 issue of Runner's World that really made me think. &quot;Home Run&quot; introduces us to Brent Ion, a marathoner who is also a part of a homeless advocacy group in Palm Beach County, Florida. Brent started a running group for the homeless citizens of Palm Beach County, hoping to reach people with drug addictions and teach them about how structure and discipline can lead to accomplishments and self-confidence.</p> <p>Homeless people who have joined Ion's group, known as the HomeTeam, have found that running and marathon training has helped them overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol. Even though many of them admit that they only joined because each HomeTeam member gets a free pair of sneakers, these people have overcome meth, cocaine, and alcohol addictions as a part of their training and friendship.</p> <h2>Switching Addictions</h2> <p>Something that isn't mentioned in the article, however, is the idea of switching addictions. There is such a thing as a positive addiction. I know this, because once in my life, for a very limited time, I was addicted to running.</p> <p>When I say that it was for a limited time, I mean really limited. When I got addicted to running, I was in high school. I started running around the inside of my school after class was out. A lot of sports teams did this when the snow got too deep outside, and I sort of went at my own pace and pondered the meaning of high school life. It wasn't too bad &mdash; I found that if my mind wandered to other things, I could run a mile without feeling it.</p> <p>After a few weeks, I was feeling pretty good. And then one day in gym class during our jogging warm-up, I experienced a runner's high. It felt GREAT. I had never had one before, and it was so exhilarating. Even though we were supposed to be lifting weights that day, my P.E. teacher allowed me to just run laps around the gym for the whole hour. The strange thing was that I didn't want to do anything BUT run, and the elation that I felt when running stayed with me for a long time.</p> <p>About a week later, my appendix burst, and that pretty much put an end to my running career. It took me a long, long time to be able to climb the stairs again without seeing spots, and I never really started running again.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Such Thing as a &quot;Good&quot; Addiction?</h2> <p>But back to the addicts in Runner's World. Brent Ion, the guy who headed up the group, started running in 1998 to help him kick his addiction to nicotine. From what I can tell, it seems that Brent traded one habit for another - he took up a positive addiction in lieu of a negative one. And all of his recruits seem to be doing the same thing.</p> <p>Running as an addiction isn't a new idea.&nbsp;Other people have managed to form different positive addictions. Many smokers find that their nervous fidgeting can be calmed by crafty undertakings.</p> <p>Of course, calling yourself a &quot;running addict&quot; can be construed as annoyingly cutesy, or a sign that someone has an exercise addiction. If someone can't stop running, then that's not a good thing either, but my guess is that exercise addiction is more rare than, say, alcoholism. And it's probably not a stretch to say that people who replace a bad addiction with a good one, like running or knitting or whatever, probably have the need to keep participating in their good addiction, less they feel the pull of the old, bad addictions too strongly.</p> <h2>Moo-lah</h2> <p>Thus, addicts have an impetus for remaining active, or crafty. The best part, from my standpoint, is the money saved.</p> <p>The best part about a positive addiction (or a replacement habit, or whatever you want to call it) is that the replacement habits are usually inexpensive. Unless you go from, say, cocaine addiction to model train obsession, then you're probably saving a bundle.</p> <p>The cost of smoking varies depending on how much you smoke, but a conservative estimate of the yearly cost in cigarettes alone is upwards of $1,700 a year. And that's among the cheaper addictions, really. Alcoholism is an even more expensive addiction to suffer from, even before counting the cost of healthcare associated with treating the disease.</p> <p>Running, juggling, knitting, bird watching, obsessive Scrabble playing; these habits are virtually free after initial investment of maybe $100 or so (knitters: stay away from the alpaca yarns &mdash; that's where they getcha).</p> <p>I don't have any truly health-threatening addictions, unless you count caffeine and sloth, so I'm hoping to replace sloth with running. I went for my first run last night. Maybe &quot;run&quot; is a bit of a stretch. I went for my first &quot;jog for a block, walk and gasp for a block,&quot; but I'm hoping to turn it into an addiction if I can.&nbsp;</p> <p>I should mention that I obviously don't advocate that people with very serious drug addictions merely get up and start running all over the place. Even more common addictions, such a nicotine, can be helped immensely through medication and medical intervention. And they always say that you should start an exercise program only after consulting your doctor, so consult away.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">Exercising in a Winter Wonderland: How to Be Fit and Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">How to Run Your First 5K</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty addiction alcoholism drug abuse exercise jogging juggling lazy nicotine quit smoking race Runner's World running sloth training Tue, 06 Feb 2007 18:28:56 +0000 Andrea Karim 252 at http://www.wisebread.com