Tag Archives: gym

Oh Dear!

June 26, 2015 by

It’s summertime and I’m taking full advantage of the fact that my kids are preteens and sleeping in. Camp Mom is pretty laid back and the kids seem to appreciate it. Yesterday, I filled up 50 water balloons, declared my contribution to their summer fun, and went inside to read my book.

Max asks if we can go swimming. I tell him that I just need to finish one more thought and then we we’ll go. Two hours later, I finish the thought. Once we get to the pool, I see a bunch of familiar moms that I haven’t seen in a while.

I wave to the fellow gym moms. There was a half-hearted,  “Do I know you?” kind of reciprocation wave. That’s when I get a glimpse of myself in the window reflection. It’s not that I feel like I should get all dolled up to go to the pool, it’s that I look that awful.

My hair is a wirey mess. I have no make-up on and my current summer wardrobe is whatever I grab out of my laundry basket as I’m putting away the clean clothes, which happens to be full-length faded gym sweats in the middle of summer, a t-shirt, and my flip-flops from last year.

It’s evident that to these very put-together moms, I look a little bit homeless. And what’s the point in showering and washing my hair anyway if I’m going swimming? In short, think of that famous Nick Nolte mug shot from several years ago.

It hasn’t occurred to me until just now that I look like a mom begging for help.

I smile with pride because I’m living a dream: I’m a writer and mom. This is apparently what it looks like. I don’t have it all together, but I do indeed have it all. I mentally “high five” myself and play frisbee with the kids for a while.

When we leave the pool, I wave to the now-concerned moms. I’ve always been a low-maintenance kind of a gal, but right now I realize I’m a no-maintenance gal. I resolve to maybe give a slight bit of effort to my summer look. Camp Mommy takes on a new meaning.

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Parenting on the Run

June 6, 2014 by

Personal trainers, gym time, yoga classes, and top-notch workout facilities are all wonderful. But for many on-the-go parents, those types of sometimes time-consuming fitness outings are as feasible as a weekend trip to Cabo.

Heck, maybe all that running around of parenthood is all you need to be fit.
Not likely, though, says Tim Kruger, manager of Peak Performance Omaha. But, he says, parents need not surrender in the battle of the bulge. They just need to go Old School.

Got 20 minutes somewhere in between the school play and the baseball practice? Throw on the shorts, T-shirts and trainers, and go for a jog.

Kruger makes his case for arguably the oldest and most time-tested exercise technique in human history–running. It’s cheap, he says. It’s available 24/7. It only takes a few minutes to get out of work clothes and on the road.

The solitude can be therapeutic for a parent overwhelmed by work and kid time. That nice rush of endorphins, that calm that comes when you’ve gassed your muscles. A jog can take the edge off the frenzy of a parent’s schedule.

Getting Started:

  • Set a goal (from as simple as being able to run for 30 minutes or something more ambitious such as completing a half-marathon) to keep motivation up.
  • Research several different training programs to understand what will bring the goal into reach.
  • Get a good pair of shoes that fit. If your shoes don’t work for you, you’re much more likely to quit.
  • Don’t try to be a superstar. Start out slowly to avoid injury and to give yourself a chance to really enjoy your jogs.

Once You’ve Hit the Road:

  • Always start with several minutes of warm-up. Do some light movement followed by slow and consistent stretching that focuses on leg muscle groups such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
  • If you get bored running alone—and time allows—you may want to find a running partner or running club to stay motivated and accountable (and maybe even have an adult conversation!).
  • Always dress for the weather with moisture-wicking fabrics (Nike’s Dri-FIT, for example) and use layers that you can unzip or remove as needed.
  • Hydrate properly before, after, and during (if possible) each run.
  • Spend the same amount of time cooling down and stretching as you did warming up to avoid injury.
  • Always plan for at least one rest day per week.

Some Great Places to Run in or Near Omaha:

  • The local school track. If you have bad knees, the rubber surfaces on many tracks may make running more pleasant for you.
  • Any of the increasing number of Omaha trails. Hitting a trail may not be possible every day, but mixing in a trail run every week or two can keep your regimen fresh. Get more information at
  • omahatrails.com.
  • Take on one of the region’s great runs, the Wabash Trail beginning in Council Bluffs.

For more information, or to meet with Tim or another Peak Performance running expert, visit Peak Performance at www.run2peak.com.

Zumba Instructor Iris Moreano

August 26, 2013 by
Photography by Keith Binder

Iris Moreano just can’t seem to sit still. The 66-year-old Zumba instructor keeps her days filled to the brim with such activities as exercising, gardening, and teaching. And she has no intention of slowing down any time soon.

Moreano moved to Omaha nine years ago with her husband shortly after he was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Living in a new town coupled with the new role of caretaker left her feeling a bit stressed. Not one to sit around and wallow in despair, she joined a gym to meet new people and relieve pressure. When the gym began offering Zumba classes, a total-body workout combining Latin and international rhythms with dance moves, Moreano signed up.

“I’m originally from Puerto Rico, so I grew up with that type of music: salsa, merengue, and cumbia,” she says. “It was a lot of fun, and I felt good afterwards.”

In 2007, Moreano became licensed to teach Zumba. While she currently teaches regular classes at Motion41 Dance studio at 125th and West Center streets, she also teaches at Curves in Elkhorn and at Fullerton Elementary School. All in all, Moreano teaches Zumba three to five days per week and substitutes when needed. But she has been known to teach six days per week with five classes each day.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to retire,” she says. “My age is just a number. It’s all about how you feel and live. Zumba is good for that because it’s like a party. I get e-mails from students saying that they can’t wait for the next class. So it feels good to help other people relieve their stress like I do mine.”

Moreano is also a full-time English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teacher assistant at Fullerton Elementary, a position she finds “very rewarding.” In her spare time, she enjoys reading and tending to her garden. As a walking (and dancing) testament to the benefits of an active lifestyle, Moreano credits her clean bill of health to her on-the-go schedule. As for other Omaha seniors looking to become more active, Moreano has some advice: “Keep your mind busy but don’t take things too hard,” she says. “Try to stay positive. Try to exercise, whether it’s just walking. Do it for you. You’ve got to keep healthy and take care of yourself before you can help anyone else.”