Posts Tagged ‘exercise


Do you ever fudge? Read this to see why I gained weight!

peanut-butter-fudgeThe cat is out of the bag.  I confessed it to my sister already so now it is your turn.  Lucky you huh!!  You may laugh, you may cry, you may say “Crap!!  I do that too!!”  So due to my weight gain at the last WI, I did some searching and recollecting on my food intake.  Oh yeah, I found a few little big fudges that I constantly do.  Not sure if they made me gain but they sure could have.

On this blog and on the WW boards, many many people recommended that I eat more.  But through my research into my gain I learned that eating more may not be the “final” answer.  I wondered if I should eat more but I also found out that I was eating more than I was documenting.  Thus the “FUDGE”.  The truth is that I am not sure how much I was eating but I am sure that I was eating more than I was counting.  I also found out from some very wonderful links and equations that I may have been over stating the number of points I was getting for exercise.  Not that I did this on purpose, but the WW online is a bit general in these activity calculations for running so I learned more accurate ways to do it.  I realized on this that I was not getting as many AP’s as I thought.  Read on to find out how I was fudging the heck out of things. HAHAHA Continue reading ‘Do you ever fudge? Read this to see why I gained weight!’


You walk the dog, they walk the ………?


I know that it is hard to see, but these ladies are at my favorite running trail walking their pony.  That’s right, the lady on the left is walking a miniature horse instead of a dog.  I had to take a picture. 

By the way, this is the trail where one of the most popular posts came from: “I can see it in your eyes-do you see it in mine”


Great speed work, bad finish!


You can see the fog particals in the upper part of the pic

I did it.  It was a real victory for me to do the speed work.  What is speed work?  It is a running work out where you go to the track, run 1 or 2 times around at a particular pace.  Usually your 5k or 10k race pace.  You do it like weight lifting, with reps.  I did 6 reps at my 5k pace which was waaay faster than I imagined I could run.  My new program calls for more of this type of training because I don’t want to spend all my time running.  It is a more specific running program to take advantage of the limited time that I have.  Many call these work outs, “quality runs”.  In between each 5k pace lap I did push-ups, crunches, and lunges (oh lunges are evil but they are so good for you).  It was a very taxing time.

You may be asking yourself, “So what does that picture have to do with this post?”  Let me tell you.  Continue reading ‘Great speed work, bad finish!’


Heal and relieve sore muscles in the comfort of your own home!

My tiger stickIf your muscles are sore and you are hobbling around, you can speed up your healing process.  Being sore is a good thing usually, but it is never a pleasant thing.  The picture in this post is of my “Tiger Tail”.  Many runners use this and other massage tools to roll out sore muscles. 

The purpose of these tool is to slowly and easily push out some of the lactic acid that has built up due to hard workouts and long runs.  I have found it to be pretty useful.  I am not 100% sure that it works great, but I am 100% sure that it feels great.  So maybe you should give it a try.  They are not too expensive and if you don’t want to buy one, dig through your kitchen and find a rolling pin.  It will do the same thing, and it is what I used for a long time before I bought this one at the Seattle Marathon.

The one that I use is rigid and it is called The Tiger Tail  I really have enjoyed it. Since it is rigid, it gives more of a focused massage than othe tools.  Because of this, you can use it to massage other sore parts of your body.

The most popular self-massage tool for runners is called The Stick.  It is not rigid like The Tiger Tail and it has small rollers on it.  The Stick will conform to your leg more.  I like a little more pressure so the rigid feel is better for me.  The Stick gives a great whole muscle massage.

Another very popular massage tool for runners is the simple foam roller.  This is commonly used for overuse injuries to the IT band.  That is a common problem with people who never talk walk breaks and push it every time they go out for a run.  This tool is effective at loosening the IT up.

Here are a couple more articles about self massage for runners.  Also keep in mind, that these tools are not for runners only.  Any exercise induced soreness can be relieved a bit with any of these tools.

Runner’s World article on massage

Foam Roller information and use


I can see the future, but only through a fog!

Low visibility skiing

I can see into my future.  I can see my wife and I, driving up to the mountain with wild kids; all with our ski equipment in tow.  Oh what fun it will be.  In the picture above, you can see that I couldn’t see very far in front of myself during our last ski outing.  It was a blast, but the low visibility got me a little stressed out.

I can see what I want in my family’s future, but at the same time I have low visibility of it all.  I have hopes and I have fears associated with raising healthy children. This post is just about my anticipation of raising kids in an active family.  My wife and I will be starting that journey very soon.  Right now I am just enjoying the practice with this new body of mine.  HAHAHA  But in all seriousness, I want to have a healthy family who does active things together.  Be it riding bikes, running with my baby in stroller, hikes, talk-walks.  Oh I would love to have talk-walks with my daughter.  I don’t want my kids to have to be obese and feel bad about being fat.  I will love them nonetheless, but I don’t want that for them.  I am scared that I will fail in this area.  I worry that I will not set a good example of health for them.  I want to be at ease knowing that my children will experience life with a healthy, active, and participatory dad.  The good thing is that I am on the right track.  I have my goals and desires laid out before me.  I hope that this will lead the way to a healthy future.


Cold hands? Keep ’em warm with these running gloves!

Mizuno running gloves

Little Miss asked a question about keeping hands and feet warm.  My hands are always cold and I hate it.  I tried lots of different types f gloves and finally found a pair that worked really well. 
These Mizuno Running Gloves turn moisture into warmth.  It has something to do with the material used to make the gloves.  So in the rain or with sweaty hands, the gloves get a little warmer.  They have never failed me yet.  I have even used them skiing and they are very thin gloves. 
I have used some other types of gloves including some heavy duty Brooks gloves.  None of them worked as well as the ones pictured here.  Another very important thing to consider is the fit of the gloves.  Gloves that fit tightly never keep your hands as warm as well as loosely fitted ones.  The air just moves around you hand more in a the loose fit.  The tight fitting gloves also cut off circulation which is a nemesis to warmth.  Good luck on staying warm.
As for keepig your feet warm, I have no idea. Thin Smart wool socks are the best in my opinion for keeping feet warm, but running and most walking shoes have so much open space to make them breathable that they are not good at warmth.  Fit is also important for socks.  I have had my toe nails fall off because of doing long runs in socks that don’t fit well.

Sex is for Losers! Weight loss can help!

image credit:

Sex is sometimes a taboo subject, but it is a normal part of life.  One of the possible benefits of being on our weight loss journey is more sexual enjoyment.  Now I know that I am a guy and all, but being 307 lbs even made me not want to do it sometimes 🙂  I also know that this can be a sensitive subject and I post about it with the utmost respect for my wife, myself, and all of you. We all know that sex has much more than meets the eye.  My good friend who was my teacher as I got my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Studies always used to say, “Parts is Parts.”  Meaning, our parts are the same.  We have the parts, we all have the goods to “do it”.  The point was, our brains are the most powerful sexual organ.  And this powerful organ is used to communicate.  That is simple fact!

So how can weight loss increase sexual enjoyment you ask?  Well, I am going to tell you some of my ideas and then point you to a couple of article on the subject.  Research has found that being obese has a negative impact on our sexual performance as well as desire.  Here are a couple of ways that my weight loss has affected that part of life.  Don’t worry, no perversion here.

  • More access.  This is totally embarrassing but it is just so simple.  Less stomach more access.  This is the least important improvement however.
  • Self-image.  When I was 307 lbs, I NEVER felt good about how I looked.  My wife was really nice and loved me at that size, but I did not love me.  After losing weight this improved and it helped my sex life because I felt better about who I was and how I looked.
  • Energy.  This may seem like no big deal, but 300 pounds is a lot of weight.  Losing those pounds made everything in my life easier physically, including “doing it”.  I mean hey, if I could hardly tie my shoes!
  • Improved communication across the board.  Communication is the most important aspect of the sex life since the brain is the most important organ in the sex life.  Once I started feeling better about how I looked, had more energy, and began to think more positive; I was able to communicate better with my wife in every aspect of our marriage.

Here are a couple of articles that talk about the positive things weight lose can do for our sex life and some of the negative things that being over weight can do.  Enjoy.  All clean articles.

Packed on the pounds.  This is a testimonial type article of a couple who lost weight together.

Common sexual problems amoung the obese.  This is an information article by WebMD

Weight loss improves sex.  This article is geared toward the male side of sexual dysfunction due to obesity.

Hope you enjoyed this fun topic.  See you next time


A new balanced schedule, coming right up!

Kabota Tractor and MeAlright, I am pretty excited right now about my new balanced schedule for fitness.  I think it is realistic and it will help me both get more fit and balanced at the same time.  I will have an exercise schedule that is livable that will carry me to my two goal races.

I hope to beat the times that I got in the Strolling Jim 40 miler and the Portalnd Marathon.  So rather than go for number of races, I am going to try and make the two races that I will be doing count as quality.  It is a great change of pace yet still challenging and motivating.




Here it is in a generic nut shell.

Mon: Walk or Row

Tues:  WW meeting and X train

Wed: Run

Thur: Run

Fri: Run

Sat: Skiing/Hiking

Sun: Long run but not super duper long every week.

So there you have it.  I like it.


How to buy the right running/walking shoes for your feet

My beloved shoes

My beloved shoes

For any runner, whether they run 100 miles a week or 5 miles a week, shoes are essential.  It is not just the shoes that are essential either, it is the fit of the shoes and the way the feet that use them work.  I did not know this before.  I just went to the most inexpensive and convenient sporting goods store and purchased some shoes.  This is not a good idea.  I know it seems like it is no big deal, but the heavier you are and the more you run, the more important having the correct shoe is.  It is not like the saying, “if the shoe fits….”  It might fit, but it might cause you heart ache as the minutes turn to miles.

Since I started running, I have went through a couple of different types of shoes.  They all seemed good, but as time went one and I found the best shoe for my foot, I realized that the shoe has a big impact on our entire bodies.  I have found that the improper shoes that I used at first made my hips hurt, my toes black, and my ankles sore.  Now I am in shoe heaven with the pair in the picture.  Here is my advice on how to buy shoes that will make your feet happy.

  1. Only go to a specialty running shop that is willing to watch you run or walk.  They will do this via a camera on a treadmill or by watching you run down the parking lot.  This is the essential first step in buying good shoes.  These stores know about running and walking so if you are not a runner, don’t worry about that.  They will still have the knowledge and expertise to help you.
  2. Bring in an old wore out pair of shoes when you make your first visit to the above store.  The knowledgeable staff at these types of stores will know right away how your foot works by looking at the wear on your sole.
  3. Figure out an estimate of how much you run or walk and let them know up front.  Also let them know about you goals so they can get you a shoe that will grow with you.
  4. Make sure they measure your feet and buy at least one size bigger than that.  My toes always turned black after long runs or a marathon.  I even bought shoes that were one size bigger.  I found that my feet grow 2 sizes over a 5 hour period of running.  Account for this. 
  5. Ask about their return policy.  Where I buy my shoes, if you don’t like them you can bring them back anytime and they will give you a pair that works.  Make sure you let them know exactly what did not work so you save yourself the hassle of another return.
  6. Break them in slowly.  This is more of a function of breaking your feet in slowly, but just use them a little bit at a time for the first week.
  7. Don’t use them for more the 500 miles or 6 months.  Shoes break down and they will not support you as intended if you use them when they are wore out.  Some shoes (softer ones like mine) may only last 300 miles.

Here are a couple of links to more expert advice on how to fit and purchase running/walking shoes.’s how-to buy running shoes

Informative article discussing pronation, fit, and how-to’s how-to buy the best walking shoes for you


421 calories have just left my body!


This is me 10 lbs heavier than right now

This is me 10 lbs heavier than right now

Tonight, my body just lost .12 lbs of fat.  Well, that is what they say anyway.  A pound of fat is 3500 calories I think and I just burned off 421 calories running at 6 mph for 30 minutes.  Made me feel great, my mind is rejuvenated, my emotions are ready to wake up, and my body is saying, “Hip Hip Hooray”.  The picture to the right is me just days after my first marathon in Oct. 2007.  I weight 196 in this picture.  

Just blogging on to let you guys know that for a 185 lb dude, running for 30 minutes burns .12 lbs of fat.  Kinda interesting to me.  I am felling less “blue” now too.

Also, no chew today and no freakin chips either. HAHA  I am doing A-ok.  See you around.  Bye Bye now!


Swimming vs. Running: Q&A

Swimming and running.  Sounds like the making of a triathlete.  Any activity that you like and can stick with is the best one for you to do.  If you enjoy it you are more likely to do it, but one reader wanted to know how swimming and running compared to each other.  Here is the question:

I’m wondering how much swimming equates to how much running. I’d love to run but I look like a duck!

Swimming is actually a great activity for runners to do because it is a wonderful upper body activity.  It works muscles that you barely touch as a runner.  So if you are a runner, consider slipping in some swimming.  Obviously, both activities can get you where you want to go health wise, but one of them is the king calorie burner.  You guessed it, running.   Here is how the two compare as far as calories burned is concerned if I were to do 1 hour of each.  You can see how many calories your body will burn using a lot of different activities here.

Jason runs moderately for one hour:  839 calories

Jason swims moderately for one hour: 508 calories

Now if you hate running and don’t want to do it, 508 calories is way more than not doing any running or exercise at all.  About six and a half days of this would take off a pound of fat if you ate right.  We always talk about running around here so I am going to post some of the benefits of swimming for us:

  • Swimming builds endurance
  • Swimming builds cardiovascular strength
  • Swimming builds muscular strength

The only thing that swimming is not the best at sometimes is losing a lot of weight.  The water has a cooling effect on the body and burning calories takes a heat exchange.  To learn more about swimming check the resources below:

  • For more information regarding activity and the weight loss/healthy lifestyle, subscribe HERE.

Calorie burners: swim and run

More benefits of swimming


Get into something: Guest post by a personal trainer

natasha-lintonTime for another opportunity to get your activity in.  This is a guest post by Natasha Linton

When your goal is weight loss it is important that you keep active and move often on a daily basis. You have so many options of activities to get into out there even if you are not a gym member. Also whether or not you live in a hot or cold climate there is something for you. Continue reading ‘Get into something: Guest post by a personal trainer’


Want to quit in the middle of your run? Learn how to keep going

Coach Dean

Coach Dean

Warning.  Expert advice in this post.  This is another answer to a question I recievd during the last Q & A session.  It is a topic that we all deal with during our daily exercise and activity.  I am so glad that Coach Dean Hebert agreed to field this question.  He really knows what he is talking about when it comes to running, exercise, and sports psychology.  You may have read my post regarding the awesome encougement I recieved from him at a time when another “coach” really discouraged me.  There will always be those who try and keep us from achieving our dreams.  Coach Dean is one of the people who build us up and help us achieve our personal dreams.  If you need help with designing a good running/exercise program, he can help tremendously.  Here is the question that I recieved during the Q&A session:

“I’d like to know how you keep going during training, and don’t just go ‘that’s enough, I’m stopping now'”

Here is Coach Dean’s aswer

This is actually a more profound question than it appears on the surface. Certainly, physically there are certain limits depending on our general present condition. To push slightly beyond them is in fact how we improve conditioning and not just maintain our condition. That is good. On the other hand, reading our bodies and knowing when to back off because we don’t want to overdo it and get injured is quite another thing. My experience though is more often that people do not push themselves. We are accustomed to being comfortable. Discomfort is not something most of us seek out.

Which brings me to what is usually at issue: the mental aspect. As a Mental Game Coaching Professional I work with people constantly on this and related issues. The first point has to be that exercise itself has to become a value of the individual and not merely something being done out of guilt, or being done for someone else. These yield very short term motivation. So, what makes someone keep going is a deep down knowledge that they are better for sticking it out – physically and mentally.  Related to a “value” for working out is doing the type of workout that best suits the personality of the individual. Not everyone should be running (I know, that seems like heresy for a running coach to say.) But, waning interest and burnout are highest with individuals not matched personality-wise to their workout of choice.

So, with all that, let me also introduce that sometimes it’s OK not to push through. Illness, stress and general fatigue can greatly affect one’s motivation to complete a workout on any given day. If it is a random once in awhile thing, I would not worry much about it and just chalk it up to a bad day. Your goal is to just have the best bad day possible – as I tell my athletes. Do not succumb to the no pain no gain approach to training.

Now, perhaps more to the meat of your question: what specifically can be done to get through workouts? Continue reading ‘Want to quit in the middle of your run? Learn how to keep going’


How do yo balance your fitness life with being married? Q&A

Image credit:

Being a married person carries with it a variety of time constraints.  This is a normal part of the knot being tied.  For this Q&A session at run4change, the first question to come in was regarding this wonderful aspect of life.  Being married and losing weight all at the same time.  How did I do it?  First of all, my wife always wanted me to lose weight.  Not so much before we were married, but later on when she began to think of having her husband die young..  She never focused on the looks of it but rather the health of it.  That is when she began to desire it.  So I always had her support.

I also need to be honest about my struggle with balance, not only with fitness and marriage, but in all aspects of my life.  I tend to the extreme.  I go for it really hard in what ever I am doing.  I get things done very well, but I have the tendency to leave other important things behind.  Running is a prime example.  It was no problem at first, but as the races got longer so did the training.  Finally, this last summer while I was in the bulk of my training for a 100 miler, it all exploded.  Audrey was missing me, I wasn’t getting anything that I wanted done around the house done, and I had absolutely no free time.  This hurt my wife and I feel really bad for that.  I gave up the 100 miler to be with her more and to live a more balanced life.  Here are a couple of things that I changed in order to attain more balance between fitness, weight loss, and marriage.

  • I focused on what was actually the most important things and calculated the costs.  For me, the 100 miler was an ultimate dream, but at what cost.  I realized I was not willing to pay the price to attain the 100 miler at this time in my life.  So I focused on the most important things like:  keeping the weight off, to keep eating healthy, go to my meetings, and exercise regularly.  I had to realize that a 30 minute run on Tuesday would get the job done and that I did not have to run 3 hours.
  • I began to let my wife chose the places we went out to eat more often.  This was more balanced and added more variety.  It also forced me to learn how to eat at places that I did not have a plan for.  Before this, I was very stringent on where I went and it probably really sucked for my wife.  I remember getting in a fight because I thought we should go to Subway for our special dinner. 🙂
  • I started doing fitness activities that my wife wanted to do for recreation.  Skiing is a good example of this.  I did NOT want to go skiing.  My wife really wanted to learn and explore it.  So in the name of love and balance, I went along with it knowing that it is another way to get my activity in.  I liked it once I went too.

Recap:  I am horrible at balance but I am learning how to do it more as my journey continues.  Finding balance between fitness and marriage is a function of focusing in on the truly important things on your journey and trying to incorporate your spouse anyway you can.


Great posts to look foward to next week!

Many posts to look forward to

Many posts to look forward to

Morning everyone.  I just wanted to get a post up today to fill you in on what is to come next week.  It should be interesting.  There are some great guest bloggers coming up and a few awesome questions answered through our most recent Q&A session. 

Things might change, but I really try not change anything after I tell you guys what is coming.  It is just that sometimes something great comes along that I want to share.  Here is the tentative schedule.




  • Food and it’s emotional side
  • Expert coaching advice from Coach Dean on how to not give up in the middle of your work out.
  • A personal trainers tips on how to get started with an exercise program
  • Swimming vs. running  Q&A
  • How to buy the right running/walking shoes for your feet

Hopefully that sounds good to you all.  And of course, there will be my daily updates of the wonderful and wacky weight loss journey 🙂


Guest post: Letter to the editor, exercise changes your life.

Just wanted everyone to have a chance to visit another great blogger on wordpress.  Her name is Angela and she is doing totally awesome on her journey towards health.  Check it out.  There is a guest post that I did for her.  It is a letter of encouragement that I wrote her and she posted it up on her blog.  She is a lovely and encouraging person.  Lets show her some encouragement.  Thanks guys.


Simple ways I increased my activity for weight loss

Caped MaxI used to be really active in high school.  I played football and basketball.  I also lifted weights regularly for these two sports.  Over the years I slowed way down as far as activity goes.  By the time I started Weight Watchers in Dec. 2006, I wasn’t doing any exercises except practicing how I was going to order my deep fried burrito at the gas station.  I didn’t really even want to start exercising but my sister talked me into it.  I decided at that time I would do as little as possible and if I stopped losing I would increase the amount.  I started with 12 minutes, 3 times per week on the stationary bike.  It wasn’t hard, I just didn’t want to put anymore effort into it.

As I started to lose more weight and I realized that activity was making a big difference in the rate at which I lost, I decided to do a paradigm shift.  I figured it would be good to just add activity into the small places in my life.  I think that these little additions helped me lose and also helped me not look at activity in such a negative way.

  • I started to use a pedometer.  This was exciting to me and gave me a tangible way to see my activity victories.
  • I started parking far away in all parking lots.  I never would have don’t that before.
  • I started to use the stairs when I could find them.
  • I started to walk with my sister when we would talk and catch up on things.
  • I tried not to sit down at work as much and move as much as possible.

Hopefully I am not boring you guys.  I need to talk about how I got to where I’m at so I can remember what I need to do right now.  I needed to remind myself to increase the activity in these small areas of my life AGAIN. These are just simple little things I did to increase my activity.  Not big things, just little changes that transformed how I viewed exercise.


I wanted you guys to see some hardcore human determination: Video

These are a couple of my favorite videos.  They show some women who are 100% committed to finishing their races.  These are clean videos that are totally true.  They are of two different Ironman Hawaii finishes.  Both are very famous so you may have seen them already.  PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT.  IT IS AMAZING WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO.  Also realize that these competitors did not properly follow good hydration and caloric intake for an endurance event.  That is why they are having a hard time.  That is the only reason.  They are in shape, but the did not eat or drink correctly.

Juli Moss



Do you do it with your wife? Q&A

2008 Portland MarathonDo I do it with my wife you ask?  And how often?  Thank God for my wife because if it wasn’t for her, I never would have started doing it: Exercise that is.  This Q&A question is about my wife a little bit and if I exercise with her.  Here is the question:

Does your wife run with you?  What suggestions do you have if you have a spouse that does not exercise with you?  Did your wife ever deal with a weight problem?

Yes I do.  I run with my wife as often as I can.  She has been  a champ.  She as been running pretty consistently since I met her and has finished 2 half marathons.  Every week she runs pretty much. She often joins me at the end of my long runs and finishes up wit me.  We also do a lot of week day runs.  My wife has never had a problem with being over weight and she is a very balanced and healthy person al around.  She is a moderate eater and I envy that.

My advice to anyone who’s spouse does not exercise is make sure YOU exercise.  You need to take some time for you and only you.  Focus on you for a little bit.  I am not saying to turn into this selfish self-help person who’s self realizations cause family neglect and broken lives.  I am just saying take a couple of hours a week for yourself where you exercise and plan your eating.  This will make you a better wife/husband in the end anyway.  You can do it.  You don’t want to neglect your family of spouse.  They are important to you.  Another thing to do is gently, ever so gently, encourage your spouse to move more and live healthier.  You can do this by never making them feel like you want them to lose weight because they are ugly.  You want them to be healthy.  After all, you both take care of each other in your own little ways.


Clearing up muddy waters: low and high intensity activity

ultramarathonI would like to start out by saying I am sorry if I brought about confusion regarding lower intensity exercise and I thought I should be a little more descriptive about it.  I feel very bad that I might have confused people into thinking that low intensity is the only way to lose fat.  It is not, but it is the only way to improve endurance.  High intensity will not improve your endurance if that is what you are after.  Sorry.  Here is a post that explains the the plain truth regarding low and high intensity workouts.
Throughout my journey of weight loss I have had one very very focused goal.  The number one goal was not to just lose weight.  MY GOAL FROM THE START WAS TO FIND SOMETHING THAT WAS SUSTAINABLE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE SO THAT I COULD LIVE A HEALTHY AND FIT LIFESTYLE WEEK AFTER WEEK, DAY AFTER DAY.  Keep this in mind please as you read this post.
Here is what prompted this post:
…… My first trainer told me to stay in the target to burn fat, … and he was having me do 60-90 minutes of target heart rate cardio 4 times a week. But my current trainer says she wants me doing a mile 4 times a week, as fast as I can push it, and we’ll build up the distance later. It irritates me getting this conflicting information, but I do seem to be burning more fat now than I was before….”

Ok.  The higher the intensity, the more calories burned.  This is true and there is no getting around it.   It is also true that the higher intensity limits the amount of time spent doing the activity.  It is self limiting because of what is called, “lactate threshold”.  Once you hit this point, you cannot keep going.  Sprinters use a pace so that they have used up all energy in 100 meters.  Marathons use a pace where they use up all energy in 26.2 miles.  Although the sprinter is burning calories faster and more powerfully, the marathoner has burned exponentially more calories.  Here is a chart from regarding high and low intensity activity and their respective calorie burning potential. Continue reading ‘Clearing up muddy waters: low and high intensity activity’