Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • How well do you know your treadmill?

    Have you ever hopped on a piece of cardio equipment, only to find yourself dazed and confused by all the buttons and programs, utterly bewildered that it could be so complicated? Not surprising. Manufacturers of exercise equipment are constantly looking for new bells and whistles to remain competitive, fresh and interesting. The reality is, most people find these features too confusing and never even use them.

    Personally, when I do cardio, all I want to do is get my heart rate up. I don't have time to push 50 buttons, programming every personal trait and statistic about myself. As a result, I am often quick to hit the 'Quick Start' button and go. You could say I like to drive 'Manual' on the treadmill.

    Some of the programs and features on cardio equipment, however, do have merit. And depending on your short and long term goals of exercise, it might be worth giving them a spin. Each piece of cardiovascular exercise equipment is different. However, a glossary of some of

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  • Resolution roadmap for 2009: Day 1

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about getting a jump start on your New Year's Resolution. I asked you to share what your goals are for the upcoming year and hoped to start a dialogue around how to reach those goals. Whether or not you read the entry, you may have been thinking about making a resolution for your health anyway. Maybe you want to resolve to eat better…or to exercise more…or both. Regardless, a resolution is a promise…a promise to yourself to make a change in your life.

    The tradition of making resolutions is something we look forward to because we believe it is a fresh start. The New Year gives us a clean slate, allowing us to leave bad habits behind, while looking forward to a brighter, more positive future. We feel confident that just as a whole calendar year can change in a 10 second countdown, we too can change our attitudes, conquer our demons, and gain tons of willpower all in the blink of an eye.

    Expecting too much of ourselves too quickly, however, can be

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  • Should obese people have to buy two airline tickets?

    On November 20th, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada. Apparently, an appeal made by Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet was declined and as a result, the one-person-one-fare-two seat policy will go into effect January 2009. The policy "stipulates that people who are too large to fit in one chair should be given two seats, so as to avoid unpleasant situations during the flight."

    As a frequent air traveler, I have witnessed extremely obese people overflowing into the seats next to them, and to be perfectly honest, I am amazed that those passengers don't get charged for two seats. The passengers sitting in the adjacent seats, have barely a half of a seat to call their own...and they surely can not be comfortable. Unfortunately, they have absolutely no control over the situation. It is pure luck of the draw: Seats are assigned, and if the flight is full they can't move, leaving them

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  • Dancing with the Stars: A true confession

    Julianne Hough and Cody LinleyJulianne Hough and Cody Linley in Season 7

    I don't watch much reality TV. That said, I am absolutely addicted to Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). In my mind, DWTS is not really a Reality TV show as much as it is a talent show. And what makes it really interesting is that it is a talent show with contestants who have talents in areas other than dancing. We have seen a wide array of stars, everything from Olympic athletes (Season 4 winner Apolo Anton Ohno and Season 6 winner Kristi Yamaguchi) to race car drivers (Season 5 winner Hélio Castroneves) to NFL football players to actors and actresses. Some stars seem to possess hidden natural talent for dancing that quickly bubbles up to the surface, while others seem to struggle a bit more in finding theirs'.

    Throughout the season, we see the more vulnerable, More...more personal side of the contestants, and by the end of the season it is hard not to sympathize with their wins and losses, their struggles, their injuries, and the friendships they develop with their partners. The

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  • Post-Thanksgiving guide to get back on track

    Chances are, that you may have a couple of extra servings of your holiday favorites, a few extra glasses of wine, no chance to get to the gym and very little you-time this weekend. No need to beat up on yourself, for that is what the holidays are all about! Rather than trying to thwart off extra poundage, bloat and whatever else may result from the holiday weekend, relax and enjoy. After all, Thanksgiving comes around only once a year. There is no need to deprive yourself of the yummy food and traditions that lie ahead.

    After the weekend is over and your in-laws leave for the weekend, you may need a little guidance to get yourself back on track. Here is your post-holiday action plan to get you feeling back to normal again:


    • Back on schedule. This week, get back to your fitness plan and aim at doing an extra day or two of exercise (If you normally exercise 3 days a week, try to get 5 days in).
    • Amp up your aerobic workout. On those days that you choose to do
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  • How to stay motivated to exercise this winter

    It is cold and snowy outside, and as the alarm wakes you from your sound slumber, you scold yourself for getting to bed so late last night. The thought of getting out of bed to hit the gym is as painful as the idea of skinny dipping in 40 degree water. It is the last thing you feel like doing. But, you do. You drag your warm, sleep deprived body out of bed just so you can run three miles before you have to go to work. After all, you know you won't be running after work, you'll be way to tired. Does this sound at all familiar to you?

    As we have been so abruptly tossed into the throes of winter, I have definitely been feeling a little more like this...a little more each day. So how do you stay motivated to exercise, when the idea of gaining a little layer of 'insulation' around your body sounds like a better plan? Here are a few simple things to help you stay true to your healthy self, even during the coldest days:

    1. Find a Winter Sport You Love: There are so many great
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  • 4 Reasons quick-fix solutions don't work

    Usually when I go to the gym, I stay in my own world during my workout. I tend to tune out those around me and focus on what I'm trying to accomplish. Today, however, the gym was relatively empty, except for a woman and her personal trainer. It was particularly difficult to tune them out, as the woman was quite loud and distracting. As a result, I heard a good portion of the dialogue that ensued.

    The woman was very out of shape and obviously desperate for some change. Never mind the fact that she spent more time talking than actually doing any exercise, it was apparent that this woman was seriously looking for a quick fix. She kept asking her trainer about all of these injections, pills and procedures that would either make her look 15 years younger or that would melt off her fat. Further, she continually referred to celebrities and what they have been doing to stay young and thin.

    The most crazy part, was that her trainer didn't say a word. He let her gab on and on, asking

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  • Can you trust your latte?

    I am a loyal fan of Starbucks, and as a result, I go quite regularly. That said, every time I order a drink there, I strongly doubt that my drink will be made the way I ordered. My distrust has gotten so bad, that I hover over the 'pick-up' station to watch how my drink is made to ensure it's prepared correctly. I pretend to not be watching, but I am. I have become, in essence, a Latte Spy.

    You may be thinking, and reasonably so, that I'm paranoid…I'm Type A…I'm a control freak…and that I REALLY need to let go. However, I've been a waitress and even with the best intentions, it is easy to zone out and forget minor requests. So, to be fair, I went on an undercover mission and put this to the test. Over the last month, I went to 20 different Starbucks across the country (I travel a lot). Each time I received my Latte, I double checked with the Barista to see if it was made the way I requested. Guess what? 50% of the time (yep…that is 10 times!) my drink was wrong and they had

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  • Should your man get a 'mani and pedi'?

    Never will I forget the day when I was getting my weekly 'mani and pedi' in a Manhattan nail salon, when two big, burly, tough-looking construction workers entered the salon to do the very same thing. Without a thought, they headed straight for the two open pedicure stations next to me, ripped off their stinky construction boots, sat down in the chairs and plopped their feet into the bubbling hot water. These two men were obviously regulars, as they addressed the nail technicians by first name and 'knew the drill' so to speak. Over the next hour or so, they looked completely at ease, enjoying the treatments...they were naturals.

    Just this past week, history repeated itself. I was in the nail salon getting a manicure and I witnessed two policemen getting manicures. Apparently, they too were regulars, as the nail technicians who were working on their nails knew them by name and were chatting with them as if they were the best of friends.

    I'm not saying that I never

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  • Should healthy people always lead by example?

    The other day, a friend and I were taking a leisurely stroll and we had the choice of taking an escalator or taking the stairs. She headed for the stairs and I opted for the escalator. My friend quickly scolded me, 'You, of all people, should be taking the stairs!' Ummm...SERIOUSLY???? Yes, I'm a fit, healthy individual, and yes, I have a business promoting healthy and balanced lifestyles, but in all honesty, does that mean that I, or anyone else who is healthy, should always be setting an example?

    Granted, I've experienced those individuals who think my healthy choices are 'unnecessary.' I look healthy and as a result, why do I need to eat well...why don't I just dive into a big bag of chocolate donuts? But, as my friend so blatantly demonstrated, there too are those individuals who assume that if you are healthy and are in the 'business of health', you should be living the 'Healthy Example' ALL the time...or at least WANTING to.

    I know I'm not alone in this

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