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New Adventures for 2018

January 2, 2018

While the term “New Year’s resolution” seems positive in tone, the slogan is negative to the core. The promise to do better in the future implies people have somehow been bad, as in lazy, weak, distracted, or all three.

Forget that!

Instead, make a list of new adventures you can look forward to in the coming year, even if they might make you a little nervous to try.

To get you started, I’d like to pass on the many excellent suggestions I received from people in the last year that you might make your new year fun and challenging.



Mt. Umunham: a Yummy New Trail

This hike was great, thanks so much for the recommendation! Happy new year!

— From Natalie, a fellow fitness friend

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District just opened and excellent stretch of trail that leads to the top of Mt. Umunhum in Los Gatos, CA. At almost 3,500 feet elevation, the peak is one of the highest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

I recently hiked the shady trail from the Bald Mountain parking lot and would describe the 3.6 miles to the summit — over 7 miles roundtrip — suitable for beginning hikers on up through those with more experience. Besides a fantastic 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, the summit has very nice bathroom and picnic facilities. The three parking lots along the route can get crowded, so consider hiking in the morning.



Nuts and Bolts Nutrition for the New Year

If you’re tired of nutrition books that are full of do’s and don’t and that include a lot of confusing and seemingly contradictory studies about what’s good for you and what isn’t, try Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (Fifth Edition).

Despite the title, you don’t have to be an athlete to love the common sense advice this registered dietician offers to help every person make great choices for his/her unique body type, movement needs and lifestyle.

She advocates eating as much “real” — unprocessed — food as possible, while offering loads of easy strategies to get around common problems, such as eating nighttime snacks that lead to weight gain.

Here are just a few of the topics she covers:

  • vegetarian/vegan vs. omnivore
  • whether there’s value to “organic” foods and sports drinks
  • how to plan for food choices under a variety of circumstances, whether you’re on vacation, have a busy work week or when you’re training for a sports event
  • when and what to eat before, during and after exercise
  • how to lose weight in a healthy way
  • comparative lists of actual food and drink brands and their nutritional value
  • why muscle cramps during exercise



Private Class Anywhere, Any Time

Workout apps are more motivating and effective than ever.

If you’re often strapped for time, or have to work out in small spaces such as hotel rooms or your living room, consider trying an app like Aaptiv, an audio program. Launch the app; choose a class (outdoor running, strength training, yoga, treadmill, elliptical, spin bike); put in your earbuds; and listen as a trainer guides you through a workout.

If you’re not sure how to go about strength training, consider using Fitbod, a recommendation from Linda, yet another fellow fitness friend. Besides offering workouts statistics, such as calories burned, the various formats focus on strength, muscle tone, bodybuilding, and olympic and powerlifting.

Now that she’s more experienced, Linda said she’s moved on to HeavySet, a workout tracker and log for bodybuilding and strength training.

Lastly, she’s also found Seconds Pro to be a first-rate interval timer for HIIT, Tabata and circuit training.

While checking out a variety of apps, I came upon an article titled There’s an App for That:  Fitness Apps and Behavior Change Theory that’s worth a read.



Aspens in mountain along trail outside of Flagstaff, AZ

Wheel Away from Work!

In a previous blog post (Discovery: The Difference Between a Fitness Workout and Fitness Adventure) I explained how I took a mountain biking clinic last summer to improve my skills for a 4-day mountain biking trip in September in Arizona. I’m happy to say the effort paid off in spades. I not only enjoyed myself tremendously while riding through gorgeous terrain in the company of great people, but I remained injury-free, and best of all, had a terrific adventure. I even made it through a 40-mile day, which I wouldn’t do again, but am happy to have survived.


I’d recommend the outfitter, AZT Expeditions. Our guide  took us to the trailhead, then set up camp — chairs, an outdoor kitchen, fire prep, etc. — when we arrived after a day of riding. While we were responsible for brining our own camping gear and food, our group organized well so that kitchen duty and daily camp pack-up went smoothly.

Now our group is considering a trip next year to Durango, CO. Woohoo!


Whatever you do in the coming year, be sure to keep those recommendations streaming my way!

Happy working out!



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