(The Rack is a weekly Friday column by fit model, bartender, musician and future superstar, Tammy.)
I’ve been on a weight loss crusade recently-cleaning up my diet by counting calories, trimming my portion sizes, and making healthier choices. But diet is only half of the equation, so this week’s post is about everyone’s favorite thing in the world: exercise!
Over the years I’ve gone through dozens of sports bras–my current solution is an old Lilyette “level 3” sports bra– they only go up to DD, and it’s rare that I can find a sports bra with the kind of support this baby has, so I bought it (a couple of years ago) in a 36DD. I’m sure it doesn’t fit me exactly right, but it’s snug, has underwire and thick double-reinforced straps, and I can go running in it (if I want to).
I have a love/hate relationship with running. I was on the cross-country track team before puberty, and I was really fast! I loved the amazing endorphin release I got from running, and the feeling of the wind in my hair as I navigated the trails of the mountain reserve where my coach trained us. Once I hit puberty, my breasts swelled up to a C, then a D, then up and up to their current size of 34F, and running became my least favorite activity in the world. I dreaded doing laps around the football field in high school gym classes, acutely aware of the unwanted attention my breasts attracted, and the painful bouncing that occurred despite my efforts to bind my chest down under 2-3 bras.
My doctor advised against running. She said the high-impact would tear my breast tissue away from the underlying muscle and cause pain and premature sagging. Whenever I’ve met with a personal trainer, their first comment is that cardio is key in fat burning, and running is generally high on their list of the most effective cardio/fat burning activities, burning 50% more calories than moderate intensity cardio like walking and cycling.
For those of us for whom running is more trouble than it’s worth, here are some of the worthy alternatives I’ve found:
- Spinning. Find a spin class at your local gym and get ready to sweat! My gym offers about 10 classes a week, in the afternoons and evenings for folks with 9-5-ish hours. The classes are generally about 45 minutes to an hour long, and torch 500+ calories with intervals of high resistance “hills” and “sprints.”
- Circuit Training. The whole philosophy behind the highly successful “Curves” gyms is circuit training- find a full-body weight training workout routine like this one at bodybuilding.com and move from one exercise to the next without breaks for 30 minutes. You’ll be breaking a sweat without the bounce in no time while building and sculpting yourself into a lean, calorie-torching machine. You can expect to burn an extra 30-50 calories per pound of muscle.
- Zumba. The dance aerobics phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation is a fun, full-body workout which spices up traditional dance-aerobics by incorporating latin music and dance, burning 350+ calories per session.
- Rollerblading. A pair of rollerblades will run you about $50, but this low-impact, high-speed workout can burn 350-500 calories per hour without the bouncing. I live near NYC’s West Side Highway where there is a great path that stretches from the southern tip of the city to 125th Street–perfect for strapping on my blades and spending an afternoon taking in the incredible Hudson River view. If you’re not a city dweller, you can brave the nearby streets and parks, or find a roller rink where you can skate to some groovy tunes like Jessica Simpson did in this music video.
- Bodyrock.tv. This website will change your life. Founded by an amazing young couple who wanted to challenge themselves to get in better shape, this “home-workout revolution” provides daily routines of 30 minutes or less with little or no equipment needed. On their website you will find over two years worth of workouts, fitness tips, recipes, and a huge international community of users who support and motivate one another to break through plateaus and reach new heights! I can’t say enough great things about this amazing site.
This list is incomplete. These are just a few workout alternatives that have helped me on my personal fitness journey. Please feel free to comment if you’ve got other ideas about workouts for buxom babes like us!
See you next week.