Play hard, Workout Hard-workout gadgets & gimmicks

After last week’s rant I’m stunned that Healthy in Chicago wanted to subject its readers to another round of my stupidity, but hear it goes.  This week, I’m in the dreaded just returned from vacation mode.  After a long wedding weekend on the east coast, I was a pile of mush.

So as I was slogging through an awful workout on Monday, two thoughts came to mind.

1)      Since my I slept in my contacts all three nights, I couldn’t bear the thought of having them in this week.  Therefore I was working out near blind.  I almost had around 3-10 heart attacks when what I thought was a hot girl approached seeing distance and I received a jolt when I saw her actual face/age.

2)      As I was watching TV while doing cardio I saw the hilarious new “shake weight” contraption.

I thought who are these morons who buy this crap?  Why don’t they just listen to the fitness legend John Basdow?

The amount of dumb gadgets/gimmicks on the market is simply incredible!  Remember the insane ab thing that electrocuted you into a 6-pack?  My question is who buys these things? My answer would be the kind of lazy bums that aren’t back in the gym squinting without their contacts the Monday after vacation.

25-29% of Illinois residents are obese..what can you do to change those numbers?

Obesity is on the rise.  The CDC states obesity is now an “epidemic” and a “major health threat in the United States.  This means the prevalence of those with heart disease, diabetes and premature death is increasing well.  This isn’t news to many of us, but is still alarming. 

Illinois falls in the middle of the statistics with 25-29% of our population in 2009 being obese (having a body mass index equal or greater than 30 or being approximately 30 pounds over weight) while 9 southern states top the list.  Colorado has the least amount of obese people. 

According to the CDC, over 34% of the entire US population is now obese.  That is over 73 million people!  In 2008, obese people costed our nation over $147 in weight related medical bills.

The light at the end of the tunnel? We can make a different in our city!  Obesity can be prevented by lifestyle choices.  People can lose weight and get healthy by working out, watching their portions, and eating more fruits and veggies.  Simple things make a difference!

Many of you already have chosen to be healthy, but do you know someone who may not be?  No one likes someone nagging them to workout, or to eat better, but there are small things each of us can do to make a difference.  Inspire others by how you live your life!  Ask a friend to a workout class, bring your parents fresh fruits from the farmers market, share this website or others with those looking for healthy resources.

Healthy In Chicago challenges YOU to help make our city healthier.  Whether it is just by keeping with your routines, or reaching out to others the simple and small things can make a difference!

What do you do to make Chicago healthy?

Staying (kinda) Healthy in Chicago

I wanted to take my first blog post for  Healthy in Chicago to introduce myself to the readers.  My name is Brian.  I’m a 29-year-old former frat guy from Indiana.  I work out too much.  I also go out too much.  It’s this entirely unhealthy balance that I’m going to write my blog posts on for the site.  Why?  The reality is that all of us have unhealthy aspects of our life, because that’s life.  So my posts will not help you look like Stalone in Rocky IV (for that matter they won’t help you look like the “so tan I’m scared, insanely roided out guys at castaways”).  So what will I write about?  Probably stuff you think about if you are a guy at a gym (ladies may think it funny, rude, or probably a mixture of both).

Stuff like:

I got a really funny look from the girl on the elliptical next to me for wearing gym clothes that smell like a high school football locker.

What the hell is the deal with Tread and Shred class?  Why is this dude in spandex yelling at people to run faster?  Can he tone it down, so I can focus on staring at the girl in front me?

It would be sick if wearing sunglasses inside was reasonable.

Is anyone else scared when personal trainers seem to give you the stare down trying to Jedi mind trick you into signing up.

Enough with the referral crap.  If I’m going to recommend my gym, it’s because I like it, not because I get $25 in free smoothies.

Basically all the random stuff I’m doing and thinking as I’m sweating out last evening’s booze.  Off to the gym to sweat off last night’s bender.  I will be thinking about the 22-year-old I was hanging out with and how I will need to continue working out longer if I’m going to defy my age into my upcoming 30th birthday.

Davidson – Chicago – 2010

Calling all Chicago couples~TV Show casting!

The folks over at the Harpo Studios (Oprah) have given Healthy In Chicago readers the opportunity to participate in a taping of Dr. Laura Berman’s new show on the Oprah Winfrey Network!

See the information below!

Are you struggling with your sex life or relationship? Dr. Laura Berman can help!

Have you lost the spark in your relationship?  Is intimacy – or lack thereof – a source of conflict between you and your partner?  Are you desperate to reconnect but don’t know where to turn, or don’t have the resources to get the information you need?

Dr. Laura Berman, a world-renowned Sex & Relationship Expert, has a brand new television show on OWN – and she’s here to help you!


You’ve seen her segments on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Dr. Oz Show and heard her great advice on Oprah Radio, but now Dr. Berman has a brand new TV show, In The Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman, fully dedicated to helping couples achieve greater intimacy and connection, not to mention better sex!


Dr. Berman understands the juggling act you go through every day and the significance of keeping your sex life a top priority. If you’re struggling with your intimacy, want a better relationship and long for a more fulfilling sex life,  Dr. Berman is here to shed some light. Let Dr. Berman show you how to get exactly what you want and need in the bedroom and beyond!


If you live in the Chicago area and want Dr. Berman’s advice, contact us today!  Please be sure to include a description of your family and the issues you’re dealing with.  Couples need not be married but must be committed to making a change and be willing to appear and discuss their private lives on television, if selected.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Heather Teta
Casting Director
917-687-4298

www.oprah.com/drberman

Belly Fat

Summer is right around the corner.  (hopefully for Chicago!!) This means bathing suit season, smaller clothing, and the desire for all to have a body they are proud of.  Having a flat belly or a “six-pack” is a dream for most of us, but also having a trim belly keeps you healthy.  Studies show that extra weight in your midsection is more dangerous than fat around your hips and thighs. 

Things that can cause that extra tire around your middle

  • Middle-aged (metabolism slows as we age)
  • Have ever been pregnant
  • Indulging in too much food or one too many beers
  • Consuming refined, process food, especially carbohydrates (white bread)
  • Inactivity

The good news

  • According to doctors, belly fat is the first kind of fat you tend to lose when you lose weight. 
  • 99%percent of people who lose weight will lose it in the abdominal region before anywhere else, and will lose proportionately more weight from the upper body. 
  • The more weight you have to lose, the more quickly you’re likely to start losing your belly fat

Tips on how to lose the spare tire

  • Eat whole grains.  A recent study  showed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains trimmed extra fat from the waistline of obese subjects.  (examples; whole wheat bread and  pasta)
  • Control your fat intake. When eating fats, choose healthy fats like  avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, soybeans, olive oils.   
  • Reduce calories.  Watch your portion sizes and food consumption.  Overall weight loss will cause your stomach to flatten (fat lose in mid section)
  • Do cardiovascular activity.  Doing 1,000 sit-ups a day will not give you a six-pack if you have excess fat covering your muscles.  You have to do cardio to burn the fat first.  Spot exercises will not get rid of your belly fat.  Studies show that people who engage in high-intensity aerobic exercise tend to be leaner around the abdomen.
  • Strength train.  The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism works (burn more calories even at rest). 
  • Do abdominal exercises.  Even though you can’t spot train, working your ab muscles will give you a more toned look and overall stronger muscles. 

A healthy waist size

  • Doctors recommendations; if your waist is larger than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women), you have too much belly fat and are at risk for heart disease and other conditions.

Bottom line: There is no magic bullet to get flat abs.  Lose weight on a balanced, calorie-controlled diet and exercise at least an hour a day.

Sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic

Boxing in Chicago-Part 2

A Guy’s Review on Boxing in Chicago

By guest writer Dan

 Why I chose to take a boxing class;

When my friend said he wanted to box me for his birthday I thought he was kidding. A week went by and he was still talking about it. Neither one of us have any experience with boxing or even a playground rumble. There was no argument or score we had to settle…he just wanted to box me. Being the competitor and wanting to get an edge, I starting looking for classes in Chicago. I came across a Red Eye article that featured boxing studios in Chicago and rated them. Executive Boxing was one of the sites in the article. It was the closest to my work (in the loop), but I have never heard of it, but decided to check it out.  I was bit intimated walking in, but soon after I was glad I came. There was a class going on and someone quickly came over to help me. I got the nickel tour and was impressed on how clean it was. I was given the run down and was happy to hear that the classes averaged 7 people.

The Class Executive Boxing offers 45 min classes all day that start 15 minutes past the hour. I go to the 6:15 PM class right after work. The typical class starts out with jumping rope for 7 minutes. That is followed by shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag. Now that everyone has a good sweat going, it is time to hit the stairs. There are no long breaks so right after the stairs it’s time to do lunges around the gym. Then it is finished up with sit ups and push ups.

It is a great work out and no matter how good of shape someone is in everyone is exhausted after. I keep going back because the class pushes me to punch harder, run stairs faster and go lower on my lunges. It’s all me in control, just my body doing the work which feels pretty good when I’m exhausted afterwards and I’m already seeing the rewards of the boxing workout.

Where to Box in Chicago