Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Year's Day Sunrise Hike!

Join us for our 17th Annual New Year's Day Sunrise Hike up Blue Mountain. This year, we will have TWO (2) hikes for those who can't get up before dawn on 1/1 2012. Check out the information below and hope you, family, and friends join us for a great way to kick off the new year!

When: Jan. 1, 2012. 5:30 AM and 12:12 PM

Where: Blue Mountain, Grand Terrace. Meet at intersection of Palm Ave. and Honeyhill Drive. (For Google map location, click here.) It's a little over 2 miles to the top.

Who: Anyone interested in starting off the new year with this mountain top experience! Families, dogs, kids...all welcome!

What to wear: Dress in layers...the weather can be warm or freezing. Fortunately, it hasn't rained on us in all these years (knock wood!). Tennis/running shoes are ok to hike up this dirt road to the top.

What to expect: The hike can be strenuous in spots, so feel free to take breaks. It's about 2 miles to the top. Once at the top, I will pass out cups of sparkling cider so we can toast the sunrise as it comes up. Also have someone give a short New Year's day inspirational talk, and then you're free to enjoy the view or head back down!

For more info: Ernie Medina, Jr., cell: 909-747-5935

Special thanks to Dr. Leonard Sigdestad for lending me the key to unlock the gate and giving us permission to do this every year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fitness trumps body weight!

12-7-11: Yet another reason to get more physically active!!! A new study just came out showing that your fitness level is more important indicator for risk of death than your weight (or BMI)! Read the full story here:

Physical fitness trumps body weight in reducing death risks: new study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association

Monday, December 5, 2011

2012 Sunrise Hike

12-05-11: It's that time of year again for our 17th annual Sunrise Hike! Like the past few years, it will be on Blue Mountain (Grand Terrace), thanks to my veterinarian, Dr. Leonard Sigdestad (one of the land owners of Blue Mountain).

TWO hikes!
This year, I've decided to have both a sunrise hike AND a noon hike, so for those of you how party late on NY Eve, you can still join us for a hike.

Check out the info below and hope to see you there!

What: 17th Annual Sunrise Hike

Who: Anyone who wants to start the new year off on the right foot! Feel free to invite your family, friends, co-workers, frenemies...all are welcome!

Where: Blue Mountain, Grand Terrace (Googlemap Palm Ave and Honeyhill Drive, Grand Terrace, and you'll get the exact meeting spot where to park)

When: Jan. 1, 2012. AM hike - meet at 5:30 AM; PM hike - meet at 12:12 PM. We will start hiking shortly after these meeting times.

Why: A tradition I picked up from my stint teaching English and Bible in Japan. We'll hike up to the top, where we will have a New Year's inspirational talk and toast the sunrise as it peaks over the mountain range. All drinks (sparkling cider, cups, etc.) will be provided.

Wear: Dress in layers, especially in the AM when it can be quite cold before sunrise. Noon hikers can dress in a lot less. Has never rained on us so we should be ok. It's a dirt road, so you don't need hiking shoes--old tennis or running shoes are fine.

For more info: Dr. Ernie Medina, Jr., cell: 909-747-5935;; see event on FB soon or check back on

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11-11-11 Blue Mtn Hike

11-29-11: Finally getting a post about our hike up Blue Mountain we did on 11-11-11 at 11:11 AM. It was a total blast, great weather, and had over 30 people (and quite a few kids).

Check out the pictures in my Facebook album (you don't need to be on FB to see this album).

Thanks to Shelly and her mom, Joyce, for giving me the idea to do this in the first place! They made it up farther than they did last New Years, and plan to make it all the way to top this coming New Year's Sunrise hike!

For more info or to get on the New Year's Day Hike List, send me an e-mail at and I'll be sure to add you to our list for future updates and notifications.

Next hike: New Year's Day Sunrise Hike, Jan. 1, 2012, meet at 5:30 AM at Palm and Honeyhill Dr., Grand Terrace.

Friday, November 18, 2011

1 in 3 teens overweight/obese!

11-18-11: A very sad study that just came out talks about how 1 in 3 kids are overweight or obese, none were eating all the recommended amounts of healthy foods, and less than half were getting the recommended amount of physical activity!
You can read more about this story here.

Solutions? Here's my top 10 list. What do you think? What can you add?

1. Parental involvement and modeling
2. Use technology to our advantage, don't just bash it!
3. Exergaming
4. Mobile fitness apps based on game principles (like Mobile Adventure Walks)
5. Make it FUN!
6. Parent involvement/modeling!!!
7. Do a variety of things
8. Think outside of the box
9. Make it social

As you can see, if we're going to get a handle on this childhood obesity epidemic, PARENTS must be involved in the process!!! Not just by signing them up for soccer and then dropping them off or sitting on their butts on the sideline, but ACTIVELY getting involved with physical activity themselves!!! Participating WITH their kids.

A physical active lifestyle is caught, not taught, so the parents need to be passing this on to their kids if they want their kids to be active for a lifetime.

Problem is, the parents themselves are NOT physically active, so we need to find ways for the WHOLE FAMILY to be active. If you need help with that, contact me via e-mail or text and this PA Evangelist will do what he can to help you and your family.

Dr. Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH
cell: 909-747-5935

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventure Walk does DC!!

11-7-11: American Public Health Assoc. blogger Teddi J. blogs about her experience with Mobile Adventure Walk. Read about her adventure in h blog post and how gamefication meets health behavior change!

Friday, November 4, 2011

New tips for post-marathon

11-4-11 Doing a marathon anytime soon? Here are some new tips f sport medicine experts that you can follow. They are good for even shorter distances like a half marathon as well!

New info on tanning

11-4-11: Seems that there might be a new mechanism of protection from dangerous UVA light. Check this out:

"The studies show that melanin production can be measured in human skin cells within an hour of UV exposure. That’s key because melanin doesn’t just make the skin darker. It also protects the skin by absorbing ultraviolet radiation and converting it to a less harmful energy in the form of heat.

“We hypothesize that the early melanin production triggered by rhodopsin activation provides a first line of defense against ultraviolet light-induced damage,” Oancea says. “If this is the case, then this pathway and its protective capacity should be taken into consideration in the design and use of broad-spectrum sunscreens.”

You can read more about it here.

Sedentarianism linked to cancer!

11-4-11: More proof that not only should we get our 50-60 mins. of moderate exercise per day, but we should decrease our sedentary time as wel!

A new study that was presented today shows how being too inactive (sedentary) throughout the day is linked to increased cancer! You can read more about it here.

So think of how you can decrease your sedentary time. I have a pedalar I picked up at Wal-Mart for $25 and whenever I am reading or talking on the phone, I sit back and pedal on it. (My desk is not quite high enough for me to pedal while I'm typing on the computer--like right now, but am working on that).

Some people are able to set up a treadmill or stationary bike in their office and walk/pedal while they are surfing the Net or on their laptop/computer. I don't have that space in my office so do the next best thing.

Also taking breaks during every hour and going out for a quick walk or something is a good way to break up the sedentary time.

In summary, while exercising for 60 mins. is good, being sedentary the other 23 hours is a big risk factor, despite that hour of exercise!

So work on doing both and reduce your risk of cancer!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 Reasons Exercise is BAD for you!

9-27-11: Interesting article by Ben Greenfield! Check it out...good for those of us who might be a bit excessive with our exercise regimen. ;-) For the full article, go to Ben's post.

Top 10 Reasons Exercise Is Bad For You

by Ben Greenfield on August 2, 2011 in Triathlon Training

There are people who need to exercise, and who absolutely benefit from exercise.

Exercise has rescued obese individuals from a sedentary lifestyle, saved men and women from being ravaged by cardiovascular disease, and allowed for athletes to train their body to perform above and beyond normal capacity.

But exercise also has a dark side - dangerous disadvantages that affect thousands of people each day, and those disadvantages can be summed up in these top 10 reasons exercise is bad for you.

10. Exercise is addictive.

Consistent exercise causes the body to produce endorphins, which are hormones secreted by your pituitary gland to block pain, decrease anxiety and create feelings of euphoric happiness. But endorphins are chemically similar to the drug morphine, and so for many people, compulsive exercise can be psychologically addictive. For regular exercisers, and especially for bodybuilders, triathletes, cyclists or marathoners, reducing or stopping exercise suddenly - or even missing one single workout - can result in depression, stress and anxiety.

This "mouse on a wheel" attraction to exercise can result in overtraining, missing family obligations and social gatherings because of an intense "need" to exercise, and a worry that fitness will be lost or weight will gain with a day of missed exercise. The pursuit of exercise turns from a way to experience the beauty of nature or spend time with friends to a feeling of going to work or being stuck in a rut.

The Fix: Include at least one day per week in which you do not exercise or your exercise involves no structure (such as playing a new sport). Unless you are paid for your physical performance, if your exercise ever begins to feel like a job, then switch to something new and fresh. Finally, engage in alternate ways to satisfy your brain, including cooking, wine tasting, music, new books, social events, and sex. If you do find yourself addicted to exercise, consider cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and in severe cases, pharmaceutical interventions to break the addiction. Exercise addiction is not worth destroying your body and relationships.

9. Exercise Hurts The Heart

In one study, British researchers examined 12 runners and rowers with an average age of 57, who each had completed a total of 43 years of consistent training and 178 marathons, 65 ultramarathons, and 4 Ironman triathlons. Half of the athletes showed signs of fibrosis, or scarring of heart tissue, compared to none of age-matched "non-exercising" controls.

In addition, wear and tear of years of heavy-duty workouts or lifelong endurance exercise can weaken heart muscles - predisposing you to a condition called "ventricular arrhythmia" in which the heart beats erratically. This is probably due to damage to the right chamber of the heart, which can disrupt normal heart rate and rhythm, and this has literally put an end to the career of several pro endurance athletes, who engage in the type of training necessary for this problem to occur.

The Fix: Avoid excessive exercise, especially a combination of high intensity and high volume workouts. If you do find yourself in this situation, such as during the build-up to an Ironman triathlon, then engage in good warm-ups and proper cool-downs after each workout, and include at least one total recovery day. As much as possible, try to avoid competing in events such as an Ironman triathlon or ultra-marathon more than once per year.

8. Exercise is associated with body perception disorders.

Body dysmorphic disorder is a psychological disorder in which you are excessively concerned about a perceived defect in your physical features, such as your arm or leg muscles being to small or your waistline not being thin enough. This can result in heavy, often socially isolated exercise to "repair the defect".

Typically, this type of activity can begin in adolescence or early adulthood, but can stay with you your entire life as you strive to achieve or maintain the "perfect body". You may turn to bodybuilding, marathoning, cycling or any other activity which uses the same muscles over and over again to try to hammer away at your perceived defects, even when it comes to the detriment of your joints or health. If you don't have the time to exercise and address what you perceive to be a significant body issue, this can result in depression, social anxiety, and even social phobia, or complete avoidance of being in public, especially where your body might be exposed.

Often, you might justify your behavior by believing that you are a serious athlete who can never work too hard or too long at your sport, and this can often lead to excessive and addictive exercise in an attempt to control or lose weight, or sometimes to gain muscle or "sculpt" a body part.

The Fix: Learn to accept yourself for who you are, and understand that you are your own worst critic. Unless you're an actor or a model, most other people really don't care what your body looks like, so there's no reason to be embarrassed. Striving for a perfect body is an uphill battle that will always result in failure at some point, probably when you're 60, 70 or 80. There's nothing wrong with looking good, but don't become obsessed about it unless your income depends on it.

7. Exercise can break up families.

In 2010, The Wall Street Journal published the article "A Workout Ate My Marriage" , describing how couples become increasingly conflicted as a spouse becomes obsessed with a particular exercise goal, such as extreme weight loss or an Ironman triathlon - to the detriment of time spent with family. Often, since the exercise goal can be justified as "noble", it is difficult for a spouse or family member to negotiate with the over-exerciser to spend more time with family.

The Fix: If your goals require you to exercise "excessively", then at least attempt to include family in exercise. Join a gym with free childcare so you and the spouse can exercise together, get a jogging stroller and bicycle trailer, and train indoors with the kids at home so a spouse can go enjoy free time.

6. Exercise can cause diabetes.

In my book "Holistic Fueling For Ironman Triathletes" , I discuss the propensity for endurance athletes to spend lots of time at coffeeshops and bakeries, engaging in daily chronic consumption of scones, big "healthy" muffins, baked goodies, bagels and artisan breads. Later in the evening, post "long training day", they're back to pastas, lasagnas, spaghettis, pizzas, and more carbohydrate laden foods. And in between these meals is a constant, steady intake of sugar packed energy bars, energy gels, energy drinks and energy chews.

Not only do these constantly surging blood sugar levels cause sugar addiction and damage to blood vessels and nerves, but they vastly increase risk for Type II diabetes as the cell surface receptors for insulin eventually become less and less sensitive to elevated insulin levels attempting to shove all the extra sugar into the muscles.

The Fix: Break the sugar addiction. Go two weeks on a low carbohydrate diet, even if it means that exercise levels are decreased. If you're addicted to exercise, changing to a lower carbohydrate intake can be near to impossible, so often, you must FIRST break the exercise addiction and then break the sugar addiction. This may require something as dramatic as an extended vacation to a place where A) you only have access to healthy food and B) do not have your bike, your gym, your swimsuit and goggles, and your running shoes.

5. Exercise destroys diets.

Whether you are trying to eat a diet lower in inflammatory compounds to manage an autoimmune disease or cancer, trying to eat a lower calorie diet to lose weight or teach your body to eat less, or trying to switch to a low carbohydrate diet as mentioned earlier, it is very hard to accomplish these nutritional changes while you are engaged in heavy exercise patterns.

This is often what causes people to stop healthy lifestyle changes: they get excited about changing their daily routine, eating better, and exercising more, but heavy exercise volume causes food cravings that make it impossible to adjust to a healthy diet, the individual becomes discouraged, and simply quits altogether.

The Fix: In my"REV Diet" book , the first phase (Reboot) involves precise instructions for reducing calories and detoxifying
the body, but a key component of that phase is limited exercise significantly while the body learns to burn more fats, use less sugar as a fuel, and become accustomed to the dietary changes. One very good substitute for exercise during this time is yoga, which doesn't burn a significant number of calories, and can be done without derailing the diet.

4. Exercise causes inflammation.

Endurance exercise can increase oxygen utilization to over 10 to 20 times the resting state, and all this extra oxygen consumption then increases production of free radicals, which are produced as the oxygen is used to convert energy into ATP for muscle contractions. This enhanced free radical generation causes oxidative damage to muscles and other tissues, and although regular physical exercise can build the antioxidant free radical defense system, intense and high volume exercise can overwhelm these defenses and cause significant free radical damage.

Oxidative stress from free radicals damages cellular proteins, membranes and genes and leads to a state of chronic, systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is implicated in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, premature aging and almost any debilitating, degenerative condition you can name.

The Fix: You can certainly put a band-aid over the problem by consuming a full spectrum antioxidant, but you can only eat so many berries, nuts and dark leafy greens before your stomach gets full. Eventually, you must give your body a break from free radical damage and simply stop exercising so much. Since endurance, aerobic exercise is the biggest culprit for free radical damage, try to limit this type of training. Even in an Ironman build-up, I personally avoid doing anything more than 1 long bike, 1 long swim and 1 long run each week - and everything else is short intense bursts or high intensity interval training, which you can read about in my article"Why You're Wasting Your Time With Long, Slow Aerobic Workouts" , which explains why interval exercise can cause lower blood sugar, increased hormonal response to exercise, lower insulin levels and increased fat burning with much, much less time spent exercising.

3. Exercise is stressful.

The adrenal glands are two thumb-sized glands sitting atop your kidneys. They produce hormones like norepinephrine, cortisol and DHEA, which allow your body to respond and make adjustments to physical or emotional stress. If the intensity and frequency of the stres becomes too great, then the adrenal glands can begin to become exhausted, and the hormones that they produce can become depleted, resulting in serious imbalances that can cause issue like estrogen dominance in women or testosterone deficiencies in men. The end result is a tired, chronically fatigued individual who has disrupted sleep, low libido, worn-out looking eyes, a set and stressed jawline, and a "skinny fat" body look no matter how much exercise they do. Sound familiar? I just described 90% of the marathoners and Ironman triathletes out there.

The Fix: In addition to incorporating the other fixes I've described such as lowering exercise and enhancing focus on recovery, you can pull yourself out of adrenal exhaustion with complete rest and recovery, avoiding caffeine and central nervous system stimulants, and also by incorporating stress-fighting and cortisol-stabilizing compounds like maca root powder and phosphatidylserine supplements.

2. Exercise damages the joints.

I was playing on the trail with my boys yesterday and a man ran by with a scowl across his face. Perhaps his sour disposition was due to the knee brace on his right leg, the exercise strap above his left IT band, and the compression sleeve on his elbow. Despite his body falling to pieces, he was limping along the trail, trying to push his body through a run. Since exercise is addictive, you'll often see endurance athletes trying to push through and continue their chronic repetitive motion training no matter what, often to the continued detriment and breakdown of the body's worn and tired joints.

I worked with a sports medicine physician for 3 years, and most endurance athletes that came in were trying to figure out how they could still do their marathon or triathlon even though they had plantar fasciitis, IT band friction syndrome, or shoulder tendonitis. They'd be miserable during their event, but would still do it. While you can certainly be "patched together" with braces, bands, sleeves, and cortisol shots to complete your event, you can end up taking years off your joints.

If you like the idea of knee replacements, hip replacements, and not being able to play in the backyard with your grandkids without teeth-gritting pain then strap on that brace and head outside to run through the pain. Otherwise, just stop.

The Fix: Run on a wide variety of running surfaces and terrains, and avoid only exercising in one plane of motion (running, cycling and swimming are typically only "front-to-back" activities). Instead, choose side-to-side motions like tennis, basketball or soccer, and attempt to address a wide range of musculature with your exercise patterns. Know when to identify whether you're just pushing through pain because you simply must exercise, and find something else to do, like read a book.

1. Exercise causes premature aging.

In 4 Easy Ways To Ensure Your Skin Doesn’t Look Like A Wrinkled Elephant From Your Outdoor Exercise Habits , I describe how to make sure your outdoor, sunny exercise doesn't end up giving you a face like a prune. But excessively wrinkled skin, which is vastly accelerated by the free radical damage mentioned earlier in this article, is not the only reason that people who exercise too much look worn and aged.

The heart has a finite number of beats, the back has a finite number of bends, and the cartilage has a finite number of shock absorptions, and once you've reached your quota, your body begins to fail. Combined with a fibrotic heart, worn adrenal glands, and chronic, systemic inflammation, you have the perfect storm for a prematurely aged and broken down body.

The Fix: In my interview with Arthur de Vany , we discuss why an exercise program of sprint interval training and brief, heavy bouts of weight training is probably better for the aging individual. When this type of protocol is combined with very limited amounts of steady endurance exercise, goals like Ironman triathlon or marathoning can still be completed without excessive body aging.

So those are the top 10 reasons why exercise is bad for you. Please don't misinterpret me, because I believe that a lifetime of healthy physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body and your brain.

But a lifetime of indiscriminate, chronic repetitive motion exercise like a rat on a wheel is entirely another matter, and you ought to seriously reconsider your priorities if you are stuck in that rut.

Are you concerned that you may be exercising too much? Or do you think this is all blown way out of proportion? Feel free to leave your comments, questions and feedback at .

Ben Greenfield
Ben Greenfield is recognized as one of the top fitness, triathlon, nutrition and metabolism experts in the nation. In 2008, he was voted as the Personal Trainer of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), an internationally recognized and respected certifying agency for fitness professionals. Ben hosts the highly popular fitness, nutrition and wellness website at, which features a free blog, wellness podcast, and fitness product reviews from Ben.
Pacific Elite Fitness ( is an online portal where Ben coaches a wide range of triathletes and assists people from all over the world with personal training for nutrition, fat loss, muscle toning, and general fitness. Ben also oversees the physiology and biomechanics laboratory at Champions Sports Medicine ( which offers metabolic-based weight loss, bicycle fitting, running gait analysis, swim stroke analysis, VO2 max testing, blood lactate testing, resting metabolic rate analysis, and other cutting-edge procedures for weight loss and human performance.
Ben holds bacheler's and master's degrees in exercise physiology and biomechanics, and is a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, sports nutritionist, and bike fitter.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Latest study on burning belly fat!

9-2-11: Here's a good study by researchers at Duke Univ. on what burns belly fat (i.e. visceral fat) the best! Check it out here.

Bottomline: doing about 12 miles of aerobic activity a week, either moderate or vigorous intensity, seemed to be the key dosage of aerobic activity for effective belly fat burning.

Did strength training burn belly fat? Hardly...but they did say that people she still DO strength training because it helps to preserve lean fat free mass, which in turns help you to do the aerobic activity.

So doing both aerobic and strength training (i.e. anaerobic) exercises are important if you want to burn of the excess fat and tone up!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Striiv: a new device that makes daily life an exergame!

9-1-11: A new product, Striiv, which will come out in Oct., is positioning itself as a device to make daily life an exergame! Read about the full report here.

Stiiv is accepting pre-orders now, though when I tried to place mine, I got an error page so I contacted them and hopefully can get it straightened out.

What's interesting is that other than the $99 initial cost for the device, there are no other subscription fees (so far!), so we'll see what other business models they incorporate.

You can check Stiive out at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Which burns visceral fat better?

8-25-11: Which of these--aerobic (cardio), strength training, or combination of both--burn visceral (i.e. belly fat deep under the abdominal muscle, not on top) fat the best?

This Duke study, just published, gives you the answer. Bottomline: aerobic burned the most the fastest. The combo burned the same.

Does this mean that I will not recommend strength training? No way!!! Do BOTH!!! Because if you're NOT doing strength training, then you will be losing lean mass (i.e. muscle) even if you're doing cardio, so why not do both and get the benefits of both worlds--burn visceral fat AND maintain (or build up) your muscle and bone!

Then that way, you can maintain a much higher quality of life. Also, having good muscle and bones will help you to do the aerobic better and more safely, too!

So don't throw out the dumbbells or TRX straps just both for maximum benefits!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

53-year study on exercise just published!

Here's an interesting article on an exercise study just published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

If you don't have time to read the whole article, here's a summary of their research:

"We found that there are cumulative benefits of physical activity across adulthood on physical performance in mid-life. Increased activity should be promoted early in adulthood to ensure the maintenance of physical performance in later life. Promotion of leisure time activity is likely to become increasingly important in younger populations as people’s daily routines become more sedentary."

In other words, if you want to have a higher quality of life when you're older, you better start being physically active when you're younger!!! ;-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Protecting talk from 8-17-11

8-17-11: This is a link to my presentation on SlideShare that I gave in Dr. Tonstadt's class today. It was on Physical Activity and Kids.

"Protecting kids against a most deadly disease!"


Monday, July 4, 2011

Beat the HEAT!!!

7-4-11: Happy 4th to all! Hope you're staying cool and safe out there this holiday weekend. Sizzling temps in the forecast. Went for a mtn. bike ride this AM at 6:30 AM and by 7:00 AM, it was already hot!!!

So I'm thinking that we may need to make a DRASTIC change to the Team Cycle Fit schedule and leave a LOT earlier in the AM to beat the heat. I don't want anyone having a heat stroke while out on Team CycleFit rides, so here's what I'm thinking:

We meet at 6:30 AM and leave by 6:45 AM! That would be for BOTH the bike path rides and the mountain bike rides.

I know that's very early, especially if you have kids, but it's just getting too hot out there and risky to be out exercising after 8:00 AM so I'm going to make this schedule change, starting with our July 10 ride.

So in summary, here's our schedule:

Where: Bike Path behind Souplantation
Dates: July 10, July 24 (2nd and 4th Sundays of each month)
Time: Meet - 6:30 AM, leave by 6:45 AM onto path

Where: Hulda Crooks Park (Exit Mountain View off I-10, head South (away from mountains. Mountain View leads right into Hulda Crooks Park, head left to lower parking lot...I park next to tennis courts tho there is parking at start of trailhead)
Dates: Most weekday AMs, non-bike path Sundays (Check twitter or text (909-747-5935) me around 6:00 AM to confirm if I'm going that AM)
Time: Meet - 6:30 AM; leave when ready!
Level of ride: Beginner - we go up Scott's Ridge, loop about 2.5 miles. Will give tips on how to ride in the dirt if you're new to off-road riding.

I bring Roxy, our bigger dog, on these rides, so if you have pets, feel free!

Feel free to join us on the paved path or the dirt-both are fun!

Have a safe and happy 4th!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interactive tools for fitness

Thx to Steven Yang for posting on our TEN blog! Here's the article of an interview I did. You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ford car to check on your health!

Read about what Ford is working on here. A car that will check on your health while you're driving! Since being sedentary (sedentarianism, hypokinetic disease) is one of our major risk factors, will this car check to see if you've been sitting too much and stop the car, force you to get out (eject-a-couch-potato?), and then make you walk or run after it as it drives off?

If all cars did that, imagine the positive impact on the health of our nation!!! We would save BILLIONS of $$$ in healthcare costs, costs associated with hypokinetic disease!!!

I hope someone at this Ford project reads this...but I'm not holding my breath. ;-)

DIY Standing Desk

LOL! Read this on a friend's FB post. Great DIY to fight hypokentic disease! Read about how to make your own low-cost standing desk here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Latest CA PE report

Rec'd this from a colleague over at San Bernardino County Public Health, Pam Sampson!

Good afternoon Fit 2Gether partners and LIAs,

Last one for the day. Thought you may be interested in the Health Policy Brief from UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. See summary below, and the policy brief attached or visit, …Pam

FYI: CA recommends 200 minutes/every 10 days for elementary and 400 minutes/every 10 days for middle & high school, but NASPE recommends 150 minutes/week plus one 20 minute recess/day for elementary and 225 minutes/week for middle & high school.


May 2011

Adolescent Physical Education and Physical Activity in California

Allison L. Diamant, Susan H. Babey and Joelle Wolstein

S UMMA R Y: In California, more than 1.3 million adolescents (38%) do not participate in physical education (PE) at school, and this rate increases dramatically with age, from just 5% at age 12 to 77% at age 17. In addition, only 19% of teens meet current physical activity recommendations. Participation in PE at school is associated with more overall physical activity. Policies that promote more opportunities for physical activity, including those that help schools meet or exceed current PE requirements, can contribute to greater levels of physical activity for adolescents.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Can Wii make you fit?

5-22-11: Check out this article that quotes some character named Medina! ;-)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can active video games replace treadmill?

5-12-11 Thx to Exergaming Evangelist from Down Under, Brett, for tweeting and posting this on FB!

Heart Rate and Perceived Exertion During Self-Selected Intensities for Exergaming Compared to Traditional Exercise in College-Age Participants

Kraft, Justin A; Russell, William D; Bowman, Tracy A; Selsor, Clifford W III; Foster, Grant D

Check out this just published article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, March 2011.

They compared workouts on DDR and Gamebike to treadmill and here's what they found:

"Results support that exergames are capable of eliciting physiological responses necessary for fitness improvements. Practitioners might consider exergames as periodic activity options for clients needing motivation to be regularly active."

The evidence just keeps coming out that certain exergames CAN reach the MVPA level!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Promoting PA @ a health fair

5-11-11: I rec'd this e-mail request from a nursing student who was putting together a booth about physical activity for a health fair. I thought I'd save my response to him here, in case anyone else was wanting to do the same thing for their school, church, workplace, etc. Here it is!

I would go to the website, Execise is Medicine, because they have a lot of resources for the healthcare provider, health educator, lay person, etc. There are things you can print off there or maybe even order if you have time.

I personally don't have a lot of "give away" stuff here, due to lack of storage space, so your best bet would be to go to EIM. I'm also going to cc this to a contact at the county health dept., Pam Sampson. She's my physical activity evangelist at the county and she may have some resources there you can pick up as well. She was instrumental in putting together the "Be Active Directory" for the tri-county area, a listing of free and low-cost options for PA. You can either print those out or give out a flyer with the link on it (

Finally, for your booth, I would maybe have some kind of activity, like a game of some sort (we usually do the Xavix jackie chan Dash as a 10-sec. contest for fair goers to try and see if they can break the top scores--you can see if you can borrow that from Claudio at the XRtainment Zone in the Drayson Center. They may be able to spare a unit for your fair).

Also, some visiual, to catch their attention, like have a picture of a big couch potato on the couch, a smoker, and someone who is overweight, and ask the question: Which is the most deadly risk factor of the 3? (Answer: couch potato!) Something to get people thinking.

One last resource would be the "Be Active Your Way" blog, put out by the Dept. of HHS. They may have some handouts you can print out, at least the federal guidelines and how to get started articles, that kind of thing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sitting can kill? Miracle Gro on brain?

Want to see why sitting for long periods of time is hazardous to your health, or what stimulates the "Miracle Gro" of the brain to be released?

You can find the answers on the USDHHS's Physical Activity blog!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

May is PA month; Bike to work month

4-17-11: Brainstorming about what to do in May to commemorate PA...any ideas? Comment here or send me an e-mail ( Would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Games for Health cover physical activity!

Interested in seeing the latest in tech that can increase physical activity? Then don't miss this conference!!! I'm not!

The 7th Annual Games for Health Conference is coming this May 17-19 in Boston, MA. The event which brings together a variety of researchers, game developers, and health professionals to review, brainstorm, and collaborate on how videogames, and videogame technologies are finding new roles in health & healthcare.

There are major tracks on exergaming, sensorimotor rehab, nutrition games, medical training, and cognitive & emotional health. Pre-conference events focus on mobile games, game accessibility, and medical modeling & simulation.

The opening keynote is Dr. Martin Seligman, widely known as the father of positive psychology. He will deliver a speech titled Positive Psychology>Positive Computing>Positive Videogames.

If you're interested in this further you can click the following link to read more on the Games for Health website:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Girl's BMI doubles!

4-11-11: A sobering story about our efforts with pediatric obesity in our county (San Bernardino county) and CA in general. Read about that latest pediatric obesity rates in today's story that came out in the San Bernardino Sun here.

What can be done? Notice how video games" are mentionedd several times as the culprit...unfortunately, it still is in vogue to pick on the "bad video games" and not other forms of sedentary-inducing activities like TV watching, computer usage, even reading (heaven-forbid we pick on that! ;-). Exergaming (i.e. active gaming), of course, can get all these video-gaming couch potatoes active again, especially since many of these kids are not into the traditional forms of physical activity.

Video games aren't going away, so instead of blaming them, we can use them to INCREASE physical activity in the very population of kids who love video games the most! This is a win-win for everyone.

Even better, imagine a system, similar to USA Swimming where my daughter, Summer, was on the Redlands Swim Team for 6 years. She trained with the coaches 5x/wk, from 1-2 hrs a day. When she was older, they added "dry land" exercises to augment their in-pool training. She would work on her technique and times, and then once a month, enter swim meets all around the IE. Over the years, she collected hundreds of ribbons and medals which she had hanging on the walls in her bedroom.

Soon, we will have a similar non-profit org called the National Active Gaming League (NAGL) where we will have teams of kids who will train on various exergames (active video games) to learn strategy and technique, and also train with more traditional forms of exercise to improve their game scores. We will go to local, regional, and county meets, and eventually, national meets (the National Spelling Bee final is on ESPN--why not the NAGL Final?). This will give kids a structured format to train and get exercise, have fun with other kids, and train for a goal of doing their best in tournaments.

We are looking to launch a pilot of the NAGL this summer, so if any parents are interested in getting their video-gaming kids involved with the NAGL, feel free to contact us at

By using the "enemy", we can get these rising BMI stats turned around!!!

PS. In this article, UCLA's Center for Health Research put the blame on, "They blame the increase on youths' sedentary lifestyle, which is often instigated by prevalence of video games and lack of opportunity or motivation to play outside."

The good news is that new mobile games and apps are being developed that address this! Companies such as Perpetual Motion Partners (PMP) are developing mobile app games that get players walking outside, motivating them with a fun scavenger hunt to play! One example is Mobile Adventure Walks! For more info, a promo video, and updates when the app is available, go to

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New website for Hulda Crooks trails!

4-6-11: Just saw this sign during our lunchtime mtn. bike ride with Summer and Roxy. Check out this new website for the trails above Hulda Crooks Park!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mobile Adventure Walks Trailer!

Announcing Perpetual Motion Partner's' (PMP) first health game app! View the trailer and go to our website and sign up for the updates. You can also submit an idea for your own adventure trail!

We're trying to go viral and could use your help in getting our product funded so we can create mobile adventure walks anywhere!

Know anyone who is into walking? Help us spread it to your network of friends and invite them to sign up for updates as well or to submit an idea for a walk in your area!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Exercise or diet: Which prevents pediatric obesity better?

3-22-11: When it comes to prevention and reversal of obesity in adults, most agree that both exercise and healthy nutrition are necessary. When it comes to kids, most healthcare professionals tread more carefully on kcal restriction in kids for a variety of reasons such as impairing growth and pushing towards eating disorders.

Recent research now supports the idea of focusing on physical activity over dieting to prevent pediatric obesity. It was found that this helps to increase lean mass over fat mass.

Read the full article in the International Journal of Obesity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blue Mountain Hike, round 2!

3-13-11: Every year, the city of Grand Terrace and the Friends of Blue Mountain sponsor a hike up Blue Mountain for the public. They alternate it on Saturdays and Sundays and this year, it was on Sunday so decided to go.

My friend, Pastor John Choi, and his dog, Nabi, joined Roxy and I on this beautiful AM hike. He also did our New Year's Day sunrise hike and today was a LOT warmer than that AM!!!

Here are some pixs on Facebook that I posted up. Check out who we met on the hike!

Friday, March 11, 2011

More proof: exergames can reach MVPA!

3-11-11: Over the last few days, I've been excited to see the latest study by Bailey & McInnis, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, showing that exergames can get players to reach the moderate to vigorous intensity levels, being talked about all over the net.

Exergames can reach MVPA
This joins a growing body of research showing that certain types of exergames can be used to reach the moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity (MVPA). (See the list of research in The Exergame Network database, the Exergames Unlocked database, and Health Games Research database.)

Ever since the latest federal recommendations for physical activity came out in 2008, I've been saying that certain exergames can help Americans fulfill these recommendations, so it's nice to see more and more research supporting this this idea.

We know that exergames can overcome many of the obstacles faced in motivating people to be more physically active. We know that exergames can be appropriate interventions for reaching the PA recommendations.

Will they keep playing long enough to see the benefit?
What we don't know for sure yet is if players will keep playing long enough to gain the biometric benefits (reduced weight, lowered BP, reduced blood markers, etc.) those of us in healthcare desire to see.

Another recent study published online in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE) concluded that " video games can significantly increase energy expended during screen time, but these games are less enjoyable than other more sedentary games, suggesting that they may be less likely to be played over time...".

NAGL to the rescue?
This is an organization like the now-forming National Active Gaming League (NAGL) can help address this "less enjoyment" factor and long-term compliance.

Just like swimming laps during a swim team practice is less enjoyable than playing Marco Polo at a swimming b-day party, organizing teams and training together for upcoming NAGL tournaments can empower kids and adults to "train" on exergames at a new level.

The structure provided by NAGL can give exergaming teams and "AGAs" (active gaming athletes) a reason to continue to train for the right duration and intensity.

A Prediction
Someday, the NAGL will be as effective at getting kids and adults to reach MVPA as the National Spelling Bee is at getting kids to study and compete in spelling. Then maybe someday, we will see the NAGL national finals on ESPN, just like the National Spelling finals!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3-9-11: Rec'd this from a recent Exercise is medicine e-letter...

World Physical Activity Day

Exercise is Medicine and Agita Mundo are pleased to announce that April 6th 2011 is World Physical Activty Day.

This year's theme is "Together for an Active and Happy Life!" Exercise is Medicine and Agita Mundo are encouraging partners around the world to participate by planning a physical activity event for their community.

If you are unable to plan an event, be a part of the Virtual Walking Parade. At 10am on April 6th, send a message to your friends, family and colleagues about World Physical Activity Day through email, Facebook, Twitter or any means you like. Messages are encouraged to include the importance of physical activty and that only 30 minutes a day can make a siginificant improvement in health and wellness. For more information visit the Agita Mundo homepage.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Grand Terrace-sponsored Blue Mtn. Hike!

3-6-11: Next Sun.., March 13, starting at 8:00 AM, the city of Grand Terrace will be sponsoring their 3rd annual Blue Mountain Hike. The first year I went, there were over 200 people who hiked up and down Blue Mountain.

Hope you can join us on that hike!!!

Dr. Ernie

ps. For the official flier, check out:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March hike & bike rides

3-2-11: Due to the Blue Mountain Hike (8:00 AM, Grand Terrace, corner of Palm Ave. and Honey Hill Drive) on March 13, our AM ride will be on the FIRST Sun. this month, March 6, 8:30 AM. Please note the change from our usual 2nd Sun. schedule (see for more info).

Our afternoon ride will be the usual 4th Sun., March 27, 3:30 PM.

Hope you can join us on both the rides and the Blue Mountain Hike on the 13th!

Monday, February 14, 2011

PAE Pam Sampson on Team Cyclefit Ride!

2-14-11: We had the honor of having our local Physical Activity Evangelist and movie star, Pam Sampson, with us on her first Team CycleFit ride. We can't wait to see her on our next outing, riding her new bicycle!

To see her in action, check out the video clip for yesterday's ride on our Team CycleFit blog.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Health Journal on Exergaming

2-4-11: Thx to Sir Richard for posting this article in FB. Read this article from the Health Journal and check out my comment after it. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Childhood obesity linked to health habits, not genetics...

2-1-11:...says a recent Univ. of Michigan study. Check out the full article here.

“For the extremely overweight child, genetic screening may be a consideration,” says study senior author Kim A. Eagle, M.D., a cardiologist and a director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center. “For the rest, increasing physical activity, reducing recreational screen time and improving the nutritional value of school lunches offers great promise to begin a reversal of current childhood obesity trends.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

President's Council on Active Gaming!

1-21-11: This is the FIRST time I can recall that I've seen active gaming (aka exergaming) blogged about on the Dept. of Health & Human Services website!

President's Council on Sport, Fitness, & Nutrition's Executive Director Shellie Pfohl recently authored a blog on the benefits of "active gaming" and the intersection between the use of this cutting-edge technology and the national objectives outlined in Healthy People 2020. To read Shellie's blog and/or post a comment, please visit

I had a chance to meet with Exec Dir. Pfohl after her presentation during the Fitness Tech session at CES a couple of weeks ago, and we had a good talk about how the President's Council can be more involved with active gaming. (It didn't hurt that I was able to mention that it was our work (Dr. Haddock and I) that got the Wii Sports listed on the President's Challenge list of exercises!).

We talked about the National Active Gaming League (NAGL), and she seemed enthusiastic about it, so I look forward to collaborating more with the President's Council when we launch the NAGL in May!

Ernie Medina, Jr.
Exergaming Evangelist/Interventionist

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Team CycleFit's 2nd ride

1-16-11: Gorgeous AM for a bike ride! For our 2nd ride of 2011, we doubled our numbers from our Jan. 2 ride with almost 30 riders! Check out the pictures in the Picassa album (click on picture). Stay tuned for info on our Jan. 30 ride, which will most likely be in the afternoon, time to be announced.

Team CycleFit 1-16-11

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Vidclip of Team CycleFit's 1st ride in 2011!

1-2-11: Here's a short video clip of our first ride this AM (Jan. 2, 2011). Enjoy!

NYD Sunrise Hike

1-1-11: Here's a short video clip of our sunrise hike up Blue Mountain on New Year's day. It was the coldest hike yet! I was wearing so many layers and I was still cold, but definitely worth it!

Click HERE for the video.

Happy New Year!

Team CycleFit's 1st ride in 2011!

1-2-10: Team Cycle Fit took it's first ride in 2011 after a break of over 5 years! Thx to Cyclery USA's Craig Kundig and Jason for coming out and providing support. Depsite the cool weather and threatening forecast for rain, we had some brave souls show up and ride with us. Check out the pixs!

Stay tuned for our next ride, January 16, on the bike path again. (8:00 bike check/8:30 leave for ride).

Great way to start the new year!