Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

PACEing Again

I find myself time and time again going back to Al Sear’s PACE (Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion) and my husband finds it suits his personal style very nicely, so we are both exercising in this way at least 2-3 times a week. In between I do T-Tapp to maintain my chiropractic adjustments (yes, T-Tapp really does do that).

At our house we have very basic equipment, so my SO uses his Schwinn Airedyne to perform his PACE. He has adapted the technique to suit him, so I think he warms up for three minutes at a slow steady speed. At that point he gives it some gas for one minute, decreases his resistance and speed until his heart rate comes down and then hits the gas again until he breathes hard and is winded. He intersperses this with 30 second bursts now and then and leaves 3 minutes to cool down and end at 30 minutes.

I use my rebounder (and watch Weeds or something with catchy music) warming up for three minutes at a gentle jog. Then I progress to jumping jacks for 2 minutes (that is 130 jumping jacks) and then cool down for 2 minutes. At the 8 minute mark I run as fast as possible for one minute and then cool down for three minutes. At the 12 minute mark I jump off my rebounder and skip around my basement for 6 rounds (1 minute)jump back on the rebounder and run gently for 3 minutes. At 16 minutes I repeat the jumping jacks for 1 minute (65 jumping jacks) and cool down for 2 minutes.

Now I am approximately 19 minutes in to the workout and I want to quit at 30 minutes so I can spend 20 minutes in the FIR sauna before I do 10 minutes in front of my Sunsplash Renew, so I need to fill 11 minutes. I hop off the rebounder and skip around my lower level again for 6 rounds (1 minute +or-) and run gently for three minutes and then run in place for 30 seconds just as fast as I can, using the next three minutes and 30 seconds to get my heart rate down at which time I do 1 minute of jumping jacks (65) and finish by gently running on my rebounder for two minutes and hop off and in to the sauna where I will more easily sweat out many unwanted toxins.
I cannot speak of weight loss (keep in mind I am fighting a hypothyroid condition) but I think both of us have benefited from exercising this way as we don’t need hours of grueling exercise and we are able to keep up with the younger generation quite nicely. We are, and have been for sometime, PACEing again.


In the New Year Bone up and Build Up your Osteoblasts

2010 has arrived in a wintry rush and with temperatures somewhere in the minus 20 F I am housebound like never before. I have dogs and even they are avoiding the outside world but that could have something to do with the booties I insist they both wear when we venture out. They are so embarrassed by their appearance that the mere mention of the word “outside” sends them running and scrambling in a mad dog world kind of way. Oh well, this too shall pass and when it does I want my bones dense and ready to run.

My mind went to healthy bones this morning when I opened Al Sear’s Sunday Review and one of the articles he featured referred to the “glue” that keeps your bones together, Vitamin K2. He states, and I quote “calcium supplements have little to do with the strength of your bones. The U.S. has the highest intake of calcium, yet our rate of osteoporosis is the highest in the world.” I haven’t checked his data but I can say that the people I know who religiously took their calcium supplements and have always drunk their milk (pasteurized of course) now have diagnosed osteoporosis and take Fosamax. Are there things we can do to help build strong bones? Yes and I will list some good things to do for your bones but I will start with some of the worst things for your bones.

Fluoride is not good for your bones. It is, in the dental world, touted as being a “tooth vitamin”, but that simply isn’t true. I have a grown daughter who has had little to no fluoride ever and she has perfect teeth, she has never had a carious lesion in her mouth.  In my years of dentistry I have seen the effects of too much fluoride and it isn’t pretty, teeth become powdery and white or brown (it depends on the level of fluoride) and if it affects teeth that way it is affecting your bones in the same manner and will make them powdery, chalky and ultimately brittle. There are areas in the US where there are naturally high levels of fluoride in the well water but most people get it after it has been artificially added to their municipal water supply or innocently added to baby formula or dropped in a wee ones unsuspecting mouth. I believe we need to question things we are told and never again drop fluoride in the mouth of babes without looking up all the information published on the subject of fluoridation and what other countries are doing. Then if you agree it is harmful and unnecessary filter fluoride out of household water including water that is used for showers and bathing (fluoride entering through your skin is like just shooting up with the stuff). Several other sources of fluoride are tea (depends on the ground the leaves were grown in), toothpaste and mouthwash all of which are easily avoided.

In my opinion another untruth perpetuated by our much touted Food Pyramid is that milk sold in stores in most states is good for you. A dentist in our office tells every parent to just make sure their children drink lots of milk. It will help them grow tall and have good bones and teeth according to her. I have to turn the other way as I firmly believe pasteurized milk has nothing good left in it except for what they artificially add like Vitamin D3. In fact, pasteurization cooks everything out, so all you are left with if you are lucky is some fat. However, most people shun full fat milk and drink only the unappetizing blue skim milk which has nothing left but lactose, a.k.a. sugar; sugar the nemesis of  good teeth and bones. If you want a healthy drink of milk look at and drive miles to the nearest farmer who sells real milk full of enzymes, vitamins, calcium all naturally placed their by Mother Nature and the dear cow who produced it. If you are in the Twin Cities contact Jay Kalisch and find out where his closest delivery point is to your home.

Now for more good things you can do to feed your bones. Firstly, we come to Dr. Sears suggestion of Vitamin K2, the glue that keeps your bones together. Vitamin K2 is even available at a store near you in the produce section. Dark leafy green vegetables are full of Vitamin K but be sure and eat them raw or fermented or just steamed lightly so you don’t destroy the vitamin content. Also you can take a supplement of Vitamin K2 also known as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) or eat Natto (a fermented soybean product available at Asian food stores). Personally I like Boku Superfood, 2 scoops of which have as much Vitamin K2 as a capsule of Mercola’s K2, it tastes good and provides a multitude of vitamins and enzymes, basically everything you need in a whole food supplement.

Magnesium is an essential element missing in most American diets. We are told to take Calcium but seldom is it mentioned that you need to balance it with magnesium.  Most medical experts recommend 400-600 mg of magnesium a day in a 2:1 ratio calcium:magnesium. Magnesium needs to be taken to bowel tolerance which is to say if it gives you diarrhea you are taking too much, cut back and then add what you can tolerate. Several sources of magnesium are Calm (magnesium citrate), Thorne Research Magnesium Aspartate, Boku Superfood, epsom salt baths, Ionic Fizz Magnesium, Magnesium oil (Ancient Minerals being a top rated brand) applied transdermally, Ecological Formulas Tri-Salts (also has calcium and potassium), and the nasty tasting Magnesium Chloride (definitely my least favorite way of getting magnesium). If you add magnesium to your daily diet not only will it assist your body in using the calcium it takes in it may very well alleviate or diminish aches and pains, muscles cramps, constipation, restless leg, lower blood pressure and even help you sleep.

Vitamin D3 is another essential ingredient and it is one of the easiest and cheapest supplements to take. At my latitude of 45 degrees it is recommended that an average adult should take 4000 IUs a day in the winter months. You can produce your own Vitamin D in the summer by exposing your clean body (no sunscreen) to the midday sun for 20 minutes at least three times a week, cheap and easy. This winter I am using my Sunsplash Renew from three times a week, 10 minutes a side (front and back). I will have my D levels checked in February and will know if I have kept my D levels optimal. If they are optimal I will strongly endorse the Sunsplash Renew.

Lastly, but by far not the least, is exercise. Weight lifting will cause the muscles to pull on your bones and naturally help them rebuild themselves or keep them strong. Weight bearing exercise like running, jumping rope, and walking will jar the bone and cause it to produce osteoblasts and thus strengthen the bone. Once you have the foundation you too can build a fabulously strong body that will never need pharmaceutical poisons that claim to build strong bone. Run, walk, jump in to the new year and help your bones be strong at the same time.

Keep up with the T-Tapp PACE

Yes, you read that right PACE, I am commenting on PACE again but some may not like what I have to say.

I was T-Tapping (the coined phrase for exercising with Teresa Tapp) to Total Workout Slow the other day and I finally heard Teresa say what I had been thinking. The idea behind the Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion (PACE) is not a new idea at all it has just been well promoted by Al Sears and I will give him credit for that as not all of us are clever enough to advertise well. I have felt for sometime that several people actually do the PACE program including, as many have noticed on this blog, Kathy Smith and now Teresa Tapp. This adds a lot of variety to your exercise program and variety is after all the spice of life.

Teresa at one point in her morning long seminar (that she recorded for people like me to exercise to) said that she designed T-Tapp exercise 10 years ago (with the help of Dr. Ken Cooper) with the idea that you elevate the heart rate for a minute or two and then let it come down (she called it sprinting), elevate, let it come down. What does that sound like to you? To me that is PACE in a nutshell and in addition to the cardio workout you will work muscles you didn’t know existed and sweat like you have never perspired when working out. Your posture improves, bone density increases and you just feel perkier. Doing lunges the T-Tapp way I have been able to lunge with none of the knee pain that I always experienced in years past. The Total Workout even includes a T-Tapp chiropractic adjustment called T-Tapp Twist. When you do it with the precision she requires (rather like the discipline involved with traditional Qi Gong) you can actually feel your vertebrae fall in to position, you sleep better at night and you don’t have stiffness.

I’m not really promoting any one of the T-Tapp exercise programs in this article but I did want to address PACE because I think there are many different ways to do PACE and some are better than others. T-Tapping is a common sense approach to PACE that I can vouch for its effectiveness and recommend it. Al Sear’s program is useful and promotes good health it is just not a new idea and also not the only progressively accelerating cardiopulmonary exertion program out there.

T-Tapp for a New Body

You read that right, T-Tapp, and it is a form of exercise that was developed by Teresa Tapp. My initial impression was that it looked ridiculous and I thought it had ruined my back, so I rejected it. However, there was something about it that made sense and kept calling me back.

First, I found out about T-Tapp from Mary Shomon an expert on thyroid disorder. She recommended T-Tapp for anyone with autoimmune disorders. Then I bought Teresa Tapp’s book “Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes” which I found interesting but not very helpful. It was filled with testimonials and I just didn’t get much out of that and I found her exercise instruction difficult to follow. Buying the book was not a complete disaster as it provided me with the ability to get one DVD and a sampling of products very reasonably. I chose “Walk Away the Inches” as my DVD and despite my harsh review of her book I do refer to it and have loaned it out to help others learn about T-Tapp form.

The first time or two I followed the exercise on my newly purchased T-Tapp DVD I found myself with serious back problems which I naturally felt the DVD exercise had created, so I set it aside and went back to Kathy Smith. I think having done exercise with Teresa Tapp and her very specific instructions left me feeling something was missing and that coupled with realizing that it was the Kathy Smith DVD that had started my back problems brought me back to the T-Tapp DVD. I was a bit bored by the “Walk Away the Inches”, so I ordered the Total Workout and that brings me to the present state of being totally hooked on T-Tapping.

Teresa Tapp has a rehabilitative approach to fitness, so even with bad knees you can successfully use her DVDs, your weak and achey back will become stronger and hurt less. I cannot speak to losing weight (I do not weigh myself and that is another blog) but I have lost inches and my back fat is all but gone. I was ecstatic yesterday when I looked in the mirror and noticed that the crease in my back that I thought was a permanent feature was disappearing (which is why I thought I had to let you know about T-Tapp). I stand taller and straighter, my shoulders are no longer rounded and my knees feel great. I am excited to purchase her “Breast Health Package” because I feel prevention of breast cancer is the real key not curing it once someone has it. Teresa is donating $10 of each package purchased to the United Breast Cancer Foundation and she has partnered with that foundation to develop programs to help women with breast cancer and to help the rest of us “prevent” breast cancer.

T-Tapp will remind you of yoga, or Qigong as it is very form specific. The exercises are done with no music and I guarantee you will not miss it as her constant reminders are imperative. You will find yourself “tucking butt” and pushing your knees out to little toe every time she says “KLT”. You exercise from the core out and when you are done your muscles are fatigued, your heart is pumping and your lymphatic system has been purged. Check it out and read all about T-Tapp at

The Pace Continues

I would like to briefly touch on my PACE again. I am still using the general principle and I don’t think I will ever go back to long, back breaking, exercises. They just don’t make sense to me anymore. I seem to have more endurance now than ever should I want a long hike up the mountain side in Idaho or just around my hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota which is full of stairways and hills to climb. I can run when I want to and not find myself struggling, biking is a breeze and jumping rope is finally not a horrible way to get my heart beating.

I like to work out to a simple exercise program by Kathy Smith called Power Walking. It is done inside with weights and a television, simple as simple can be. You primarily march in place and then add weights for your abdominals and upper body. She has two big push interludes and I pick up my jump rope and jump as fast as I can for the time allotted which does increase my heart rate and make me breath deeply. it is not strenuous but when I am done I am sweating and my heart is pumping.

It is criticized on for Kathy Smith’s blunders and for being too easy but I find the blunders entertaining and easy is as easy does, if you don’t put any effort in you will get back just what you put in to the workout. I suspect that Al Sears would not give this DVD the PACE seal of approval but I would like to share with my readers that it is a good workout for those times when you are in a hurry and it does generally follow the principles of PACE.