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     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2013 issue 11



Blade Runner?

I'm still LOVING the mud runs that I do every year, as well as the trail runs that I do training for them.  However, since I've been dealing with a cartilage problem in my knee ever since high school wrestling, I was really feeling my old injury after the last run L... sucks getting old! 

Just packing it in cold turkey and resting up doesn't sit too well for me.  I've worked too hard got get to where I am now!  So when it came to cardio day last week, I decided to dust off my rollerblades that have been neglected in storage for a few years and go for a spin. 

Just for the record, no... I wasn't wearing leg warmers, spandex, or a headband!  I decided to put on a heart rate monitor for the research value, just to determine whether or not it was worth my time.  I tried to continuously throw my arms in speed skater form and was able to knock out about 5.5 miles in 31 minutes... 5:42/mile.  My heart rate was up over 145bpm for most of the route and I definitely felt the burn in my butt and hips.  Not bad at all for a running type activity with almost no impact on my joints!

Moral of the story?  Don't be so quick to bail on your workouts!  Find an alternative that you can do while nursing an injury!  If your arm hurts, work your legs... If your leg hurts, work your arms.  I'm not saying that this will apply to every situation, but check with a doctor or trainer before you decide to sit around eating cake and ice cream while you're "healing up" J.  Here's a decent article that I found on the topic for those that are interested... 

Inline Skating Fitness benefits Match
Running & Cycling

In-Line skating as a form of exercise is as beneficial as running or cycling, according to Dr. Carl Foster, associate professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and coordinator of sports medicine and sports science for the United States Speed Skating Team. A fitness study completed for Rollerblade inc. in 1991 measured how in-line skating compares as a form of exercise to running or cycling, in terms of caloric expenditure, as well as aerobic and anaerobic benefits. Oxygen uptake. Heart rate and blood rate were measured in eleven volunteers, all competent inline skaters, during four different workouts: running, cycling, 30 minutes of steady inline skating and an incremental inline skating workout, in which the participants skated one mile four times progressively increasing velocities, paced by a bicycle. Results of the study are as follows:

During a 30 minute period: On the average, inline skating at a steady comfortable rate exceeds 285 calories and produces a heart rate of 148 beats per minute 

Caloric expenditure

  • Interval skating, (Alternating one minute of hard skating in a tuck position with one minute of easy skating in an upright position) exceeds 450 calories in 30 minutes.

  • Running and cycling expend 350 and 360 calories respectively, at a heart rate of 148 beats per minute

  • In general, the faster/harder one skates, the faster one burns calories.

Aerobic benefits

In line skating was found to be a better aerobic workout than cycling, but not as good as running. This is because it is easier to coast while cycling than while skating, and impossible to coast while running. 

Aerobic tests measure how the heart and lungs work together.

  • Inline skaters can increase their aerobic workout by skating harder or skating uphill. (NOTE: Skaters should master speed control for skating downhill prior to engaging in an uphill workout.)

Anaerobic benefits

Anaerobic benefits determine how well a workout strengthens and develops muscles. In general, a person who is working out wants to burn fat, not muscle. Studies show that women who use diet only to reduce weight may lose 40 percent of their weight from muscle tissue.

  • Anaerobically, inline skating was found to be more beneficial than both running and cycling, because it is intrinsically easier and more natural for building hip and thigh muscles that are not developed in the other two forms of exercise. Unlike, cycling, inline skating develops hamstring muscles. And unlike running, inline skating is a low impact activity.

  • A separate study conducted at the Human Performance Laboratory at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota found that inline skating develops muscles in the entire upper leg, rear end and hip, as well as lower back. Muscles in the upper arms and shoulders are also developed when arms are swung vigorously while skating.

ref. Rollerblade, inc


Rebounding from injury

"I started inline skating after four knee surgeries made it hard for me to run. It wasn't long before I found a way to combine my lifelong favorite sport with my new skating obsession, which got me back to the court long after I'd thought my fun was done."

Tom LaGarde, former NBA star and founder of NIBBL, the National Inline Basketball league.

Inline skating, when compared to running, causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to the joints, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, thus demonstrating that inline skating is less harmful to the joints than higher impact sport of running.





Sandbag Exercise of the Month!

Plyometric Pushup


Plyometric exercise is explosive movement that utilizes the stretch reflex (stored energy) of your muscles to train your muscles for performance.  The plyometric pushup can be done in many different ways... with or without a step-up object.  As part of our sandbag circuit, a standard sized bag makes for a nice elevation change to build your chest, shoulder and tricep muscles.


Target:  chest, shoulders, and arms (pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps brachii)

Description:  Start in a high plank push-up position with your hands on each side of the sandbag.  Drop your chest down to the sandbag, explosively push up enough so that your hands leave the ground and come back down on the sandbag.  Immediately explode back up again and return to the starting position.  Continue to explode up after each repetition, limiting your ground contact time.  Repeat for desired repetitions.

Recipes for Health

Here's a great alternative recipe to cut some calories out of an all time favorite pasta dish...

Light Bolognese Lasagna
(40 min hands on, 1hr. 35min total)

We played it straight with this lasagna standard, which retains all of its meaty, cheesy, saucy goodness, but has less than half the calories.

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste

  • 1 ounce diced pancetta

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 6 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided (about 1 1/2)

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 6 cooked lasagna noodles

  • Cooking spray

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.

  2. Coat a medium saucepan with oil, place over medium-high heat, and add tomato paste and pancetta.  Cook for 1 minute while stirring.

  3. Add turkey and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to crumble.

  4. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes (or until evaporated.

  5. Add onion mixture, salt, crushed red pepper, oregano, and ground black pepper and cook for 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.

  6. Add milk and basil and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

  7. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

  8. PREHEAT OVEN TO 425 degrees

  9. Combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and egg in small bowl.

  10. Spread 3/4 cup turkey mixture in bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

  11. Arrange 3 noodles over turkey mixture and top with half of remaining turkey mixture and half of ricotta mixture.

  12. Repeat layers once, ending with ricotta mixture.

  13. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over top.

  14. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes

  15. PREHEAT BROILER TO HIGH (Keep lasagna in oven.)

  16. Broil lasagna for 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.

  17. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serves:  8
Calories:  364
Fat:  13.2g (sat 6g)
Protein:  30.9g
Carb:  31.4g

ref. Cooking Light, March 2013

It's Go Time!

Halloween was scary, right?  Not as scary as that bowl of sugar and fat that your kid has in the other room!  Rule of thumb... Everything in moderation!  Sure it's ok to indulge a little here and there... but if they (or you) are going to sit down with that bowl and repeatedly grab handfuls, you're not going to be happy with the results!  Keep in mind that you have the big Thanksgiving feast coming up at the end of November, followed by Christmas cookies and candy, followed by the big New Year's party... Everything in moderation!  Pace yourself, keep working hard, and make good decisions on a regular basis.


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Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT


"Many of life's failures are people who
did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
~Thomas A. Edison

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