Exercise & Fitness

Alisabeth Von Presley

We know that media images and cultural expectations can have serious consequences for girls, but how do boys and men feel when flooded with images of the ideal man with six pack abs and a chiseled physique?

Tim Eilers, who is Wellness Director for Whirlpool and a former college football player, says that when he was younger, those images made an impression.

“I played on the offensive line, so they wanted me to be as big as I could be. I wanted chiseled abs,” he says.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Research shows that living in a walkable community is good for your health, good for your kids, and good for the local economy, but it can be a struggle for cities to develop infrastructure towards better walkability.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on what it means for a community to be walkable, the impact it can have, the barriers to walkability, as well as the pros and cons of skywalk systems.

Guests on today’s program include:

A new type of yoga festival is coming to Cedar Rapids next month with the aim of empowering people to try new ways of moving their bodies. Ally Thompson is producer for Fields of Yogis, which in addition to hosting yoga workshops, will include classes on burlesque dancing, hula hooping, belly dancing and slacklining. 

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Burch Elliott

For some Iowans, the idea of doing yoga is appealing, but the idea of walking into a yoga studio is not.

Jamie Burch Elliott identifies with that sentiment. She’s curvy and doesn’t have a typical “yoga body." She says she remembers one of the first yoga classes she attended well. 

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Leicht

If you dreamed about running away to join the circus, it’s not too late. In fact, you don’t even have to run away. There’s a growing community of circus performers right here in Iowa. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Felicia Coe and Laura Ernst, who are the co-founders of the Iowa Circus Academy in Des Moines. 

They are offer circus fitness classes for beginners, flexibility classes, and more advanced courses as well. 

Kuviin / Wikimedia Commons

Regular exercise is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of many serious health conditions, but many of us still struggle with making it a part of our lives. Would you be more likely to exercise if your doctor prescribed it?

Dr. Britt Marcussen says that if you’re trying to start a new habit, stick with it.

“We are all creatures of habit. It takes a long time if you’re not an exerciser to become an exerciser and have it be second nature to you. If takes several months of working a program before it becomes a habit,” he says.

Flickr / Phil Roeder

Des Moines’s downtown skyline looks a little bit different now. The old riverfront YMCA came to a fiery end when it was imploded early Sunday morning. 

Flickr / ceiling

The benefits of exercise are well documented, but it can difficult to make time to hit the gym. But when developing a good workout schedule, is it more important to focus on forming habits on how you exercise, or habits that make you decide to exercise?

According to ISU health psychologist L. Alison Phillips, it's the latter. She says strong patterns that prompt you to initiate exercise are key to frequent workouts. 

Organizers of the Branstad administration’s fourth annual 1-K walk say they expect as many as half a million people to participate. 

When Robert Buckely reached retirement, he decided he needed a new adventure and started walking... hundreds of miles in multiple countries.  He has now completed four super long distance hikes, the last one at the age of 70.  He's written about his experiences in the book Two Miles an Hour.

2 Give Back / Facebook

There's a shortage of foster parents in Iowa, and Chris Barnett wants everyone to know about it.  To raise awareness of the need for new foster parents, Barnett is spending the month of May walking across the state of Iowa, twice.  He's reached the halfway point, and Host Charity Nebbe talks with him about his life and his mission.

Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission / http://www.extension.iastate.edu/life

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.

Blue Zones Project

Communities like Okinawa in Japan and Loma Linda in California are home to some of the longest-living people in the world. These communities are called “Blue Zones”, a phrase coined by National Geographic writer and explorer, Dan Buettner.

Almost two years ago, the Blue Zones Project became integrated in many Iowa communities, with the goal of fostering healthy behavior so residents live long and happy lives.

Property of John Little.

While most of us were enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, 61-year-old Iowa City resident John Little was completing his 13th Ironman Triathlon in Cozumel, an island off the Yucatan Peninsula.

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, followed by a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and ends with a marathon, which is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run. There are no breaks between each leg of the race. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Little to discuss his extreme hobby, which he took up at the age of 55.

CDC

"For virtually any health outcome...

Eric Allix Rogers / reallyboring / Flickr

The advent of automobiles brought increased mobility to Americans, but cars also created suburban sprawl and isolation.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at new urbanism, a movement that cultivates qualities found in older communities like walkability and connectivity.

Training to Run

Jan 16, 2013
Johannes Ouendag / Flickr

Charity Nebbe talks with runners from across the state as they share their tips on how to train for any race, whether it's a 5k or a marathon. They'll also talk about how to prevent injury and the trend in minimalist running.

Tulane Public Relations / Flickr

How strong is the link between physical activity and success? Ben Kieffer talks with Adele Diamond, one of the world's leading researchers on the brain's cognitive functions, as she gives her answer. Diamond talks about the real difference exercise can make in how you think, feel and interact with others.

Also, several members from Iowa’s Blue Zones project talk about the project's current endeavors.

Having a child changes everything including how you eat and how you move.  On today's Talk of Iowa, Charity talks with Dr. Helene Laroche, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Iowa about how becoming a parent can change your diet.  Later, we hear from Matt Stancel, Assistant Director of Fitness Programs for Recreational Services at the U of I about how becoming a parent might change your exercise routine.