Funky Friday Feed

It's a funky, get-fit, free Zumba workout Friday

I've been following my "eat what you love" rule but I haven't been doing what I love when I came to exercise.

I've been doing what I think I should be doing, and frankly I couldn't keep up. But while I think the Supreme 90 Day System is a kick-azz workout program and an amazing value, it's just not for me right at this minute, so I'm setting it aside for now.

I was making so many modifications that I was barely doing the DVDs at all. Too much "can't do this, can't finish that," y'know?

I can't do a lot of floor work because of my neck, which I have referred to in the past as the Bad Lego Project.

Now that I've searched through dozens of manila folders full of paperwork, I thought I'd show you what that looks like:

Neck compare

The MRI on the left is what the cervical spine is supposed to look like -- all curvy and clean. The mess on the right is my neck, otherwise known as "military neck." While that sounds all patriotic and stuff, it's not supposed to be that way. You'll also notice some bumpy crap in the front -- those are bone spurs that kink my esophagus and windpipe. If I'm not careful, food gets stuck there. (If you know me, you've probably encountered me choking on something.)

I ain't playin'. This is why I just can't do a lot of things like crunches and Pilates. Every now and then I'll try them and the next day it'll feel like someone whacked me on the back of the head with a baseball bat. Tucking in my chin literally cuts off my breathing.


I look for standing ab routines and workouts that target the core without hitting the floor. That's why I love Zumba -- loads of booty shaking and core strengthening moves done while dancing.

Free Zumba!

Zumba activate I happened to get a couple of Zumba DVDs while at Fitbloggin' last month and I loved it so much I bought the entire set on QVC, so I have spares. It's the new Activate workout DVD from the Zumba Fitness Exhilarate set. Trainers Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant lead a 45-minute easy-to-follow Zumba workout.

All you need to do is tell me what kind of exercise you LOVE to do.

What workout makes you truly happy? Let me know and I'll randomly choose two winners of the DVDs. Get those comments in by June 20, the first day of summer! It may get too hot to workout outdoors but you'll be able to Zumba inside.

And now, we dance!

Bringing back Funky Friday with Trombone Shorty

Music is critically important to my workouts. My mind tends to noodle all over the place if I don't have something to focus my attention so I make sure my iPod is loaded up with great stuff.

Today, to celebrate my kid the trombonist getting the "Best Band Member in Sixth Grade" on Tuesday night, I'm downloading Trombone Shorty's Backatown album.

Download something fun for your workout!

Support the arts in schools!

Dance around the room!

Peace out!

Funky Friday: It's 'Dynamite' with my favorite baseball player, Cody Ross

Baseball Even though he left the Florida Marlins for the San Francisco Giants, Cody Ross is still one of my favorite baseball players, and he rose even higher in my book with this video. He and pitcher Brian Wilson teamed up with Keenan Cahill, a 16-year-old from Elmhurst, Ill., who has a rare disorder, Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome. Wilson and Ross will be hosting "Dynamite: A Fundraiser for Keenan Cahill" during their game against the Florida Marlins on May 25. So get up and dance with Keenan, Cody, Brian and Lou Seal!

Get Fit Friday: Not stressing, just doing it

I've been a bit busy the past week, working on some extra stuff and trying to keep on top of the housework so I skipped a couple days of exercise.

But I'm not freaking out about it because so far this week I've logged 150 minutes of exercise and there's still the weekend.

I signed up for a 9 a.m. Sunday Bodypump class so that'll be sure to incinerate a ton of calories plus build muscle.

Like I've mentioned before, I tend to make things more difficult than they need to be. I overthink things, read too many scientific studies, get too many diet books, too many DVDs. All I need to do is DO IT!

That was reinforced this week with a post on Roni's Weigh. Roni posted a link to a radio interview with weight-loss blogger Sean Anderson who has lost 275 pounds. The radio interview is really worth a listen. Aside from the fact that Sean works in radio and has a great communicating style, he talks about how he finally found success after he decided to simplify the process.

He also had a tendency to make things more difficult than they needed to be so he devised a Calorie Bank & Trust. He gives himself 1,500 calories a day and can choose to use those calories however he wants -- nothing's off limits. He also keeps his exercise simple -- he started out walking and now completes 5ks and 10ks.

My simple plan today was to lace up my sneaks and simply take a walk around the neighborhood for an hour. No heart-rate monitor, no pedometer -- just me, my iPod and my shades.

On the way back, my "victory lap" song was Past My Shades by B.o.B. I did some running during my walk, so I was feeling particularly bad-ass. So here's your Funky Friday jam with the proviso to keep it simple (and keep it funky):

Funky Friday returns with a Madcon remake fave


Haven't had a Funky Friday since I got over my New Jack Swing phase awhile back, but I happened upon a favorite song that's actually a couple years old -- Beggin' by Madcon.

Actually, the song is much older -- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons first did the song in 1968 but these guys, who are a Norwegian duo, had a huge hit around the world with their remake in 2008. 

Here's my mini workout advice: Click play, get up and dance your ass off. (The backup dancers in the video have some pretty cool moves.)

Hungry and sore

Hungry and sore.

I've decided that I have to be those two things if I want to see the scale move.

The weeks when I have a slight gnawing in my stomach are the weeks when I lose weight. I think it's my old, shot metabolism. I really don't need many calories -- probably only around 1,300.

And I need to workout at least four days a week. I'm working up to five. Lately I've been making sure my workouts have some sort of resistance training, although today's workout was pure cardio fun. The DVD is called Cardioke and it's led by Billy Blanks Jr. It's super fun and requires singing!

Most of the soreness goes away the more I exercise, so maybe I'll just be slightly hungry and slightly sore.

Here's one of the Cardioke routines. See if you can keep up -- I had to follow the old ladies in the back.

Funky Friday: Tony Toni Tone has done it again!

BLworkoutmix Instead of sitting on my butt last night at Little League practice, I laced up the sneaks and power-walked the track for an hour. I didn't think I'd workout that hard or that long but my iPod kept me propelled. I recently downloaded the new Biggest Loser Workout Mix of three CDs onto the iPod. You can get it at iTunes but I found it on sale at Costco for around $15. That's 36 songs for $15!

The music is from Power Music, which means these aren't the original artist. It's the kind of "sound-alike" stuff you hear in aerobic class. But hey, it's close enough, and the music is timed to thump along from 125-130 BPM and to seamlessly flow from one song to another. The three-pack has two volumes of current top-40 hits, such as Just Dance, American Boy and Stronger; the third disc is '80s hits with songs such as Electric Avenue and Don't You Want Me.

I switched from the Biggest Loser mix to my own music and what really got me cranking around the track was a New Jack Swing classic, Feels Good by Tony Toni Tone.

So to kick off the new Funky Friday fixture, here's something for your workout mix: