Beach Talk

If you aren't from here, you probably won't get the context of the next post so I thought I would clarify first. Around here (Florida) people love talking about beaches. And so I figured I would share my experience from this weekend with you today.

I drove up to Boca Raton to hit the inlet beach yesterday. Such a wonderful place. They've got the inlet where boats come in and out all day. There's also some really strong tides going in and out. One side of the inlet is bordered by a long rock outcropping. It's great for fishing and for snorkeling. I was blown away by the diversity of fish you could see just a few feet offshore.

The water was beautiful, the beach was pretty clean (and has bathrooms) and the waves were perfect for bodysurfing.

On top of all this, the seashelling was surprisingly good. I found a few conchs along with murexes and cones which were always prize finds when I was younger. Can't wait to go back and try out the fishing.

But if you don't make it out to Boca you can try John U. Lloyd, there is a jetty and bigger ships going in and out which is so-so but gives you some of the same aesthetic.

And we use the jetty to fish from.

Like most beaches, it depends on when you go. You can find crystal clear water by the Dania Pier where most people walk right out to go diving.

We saw a giant ray and a manatee there last month.

One of the nice things about it is if you want less busy, you can go to any of the side streets north of Sheridan St. at any time and you get a nice relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.

If you want food, drink and people watching, the boardwalk on Hollywood Beach is nice.

They also have nice sandbars.

But the best beach "near" Miami is technically the one that also is the 2nd best rated beach here in the United States.

We really like Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs. We don't get out there much since it is probably about 1.5 hour drive west on 75 depending on the traffic. The sand is so soft, almost like powder, and you will find a lot of shells there. The water is surprisingly clear for how big the waves were.

And they keep everything nice and clean.

It is our favorite "vacation" spot here in the area.


My Dilemma: Jogging vs. Cycling

I think that it could be boiled down to three questions that I am currently trying to answer. And while I like both, doing both, seems senseless. I mean, what do I do, jog one and then day cycle the next?

It is a duplication of equipment that I would need for something that I could achieve with just one. And cycling is more of an upfront cost.

My Question

  1. Which one burns more fat in less time?
    • This is the big one for me. I have less time, and that means it needs to count. The question is, while I can go further faster while biking, will it be less beneficial to me as a whole? I tend to think that it will be less beneficial.
  2. Which one is harder on my body
    • In the past this has always been jogging, but, in recent years, whenever I get on a bike I end up with knee pain.
  3. How much distance and or time do I need to invest in a good workout?
    • This really seems to be a question that nobody has an answer for. And honestly, it shouldn't be too hard to calculate.
    • In the past I have lost more fat and weight tracking my calories than by actually working out.

I have often read that a "good workout" only depends on your fitness level and intensity.

My Answer

I feel that with the goal of burning fat, either exercise will work, granted I approach it the right way. There is a target heart rate zone, that is to say, one that will burn more fat. Taking that as a starting value I think that it is safe to say that I could reach my target heart rate with either cardio exercise.

Since I have let myself get a little bit out of shape. And since jogging seems like it will rip hurt more than the other, for me a fat burning exercise, it would probably be easier to maintain that on a bike.

I know that it may seem silly, but the way that I see it is that if you're putting in the time and effort you may as well get every bit of benefit you can out of your exercise.


The Life

Miami has it all. At least it has everything we want. And I might add more. Sure the job market is saturated right now in our indsutry, but it only matters if you are looking for work. Not if you have it.

But it really does have it all.

For use it can be broken into two categories.


Do you prefer nice scenery with few people or a place where you can people watch? Food/drink preferences or none needed?

In Coral Gables theres a bunch of nice small parks also that we like to frequent.

There's one on SW 40th St. and Kinda by University Drive.

It faces a big canal and I've even seen manatees there. The park is tricky to find because the street is weird, but trust me its there.

For people watching or reflecting not in nature, Books & Books (Coral Gables or Lincoln Road. I haven't been to the others), Starbucks at Mary Brickell Village, FIU if you can nab a rocking cabana table, Panther Coffee in Wynwood.

And take a moment and enjoy South Pointe Park. Bayside park is also pretty nice, well, up until you get bombarded by homeless people asking for money..

Then there is the view of downtown from the Children's Museum at night is wonderful.

FOr more scenic locations the AD Barnes North is like a sub park that is on SW 32 terr and 72 ave that is usually empty, faces a creek and is very quiet overall.

Skip the Beach Bonfire (A word of warning)

A lot of people that aren't from around here think that they can just start a fire. Anywhere. And the beach bonfire seems like a good idea.

But wait.

Most places require expensive permits or fires are just simply not allowed.

And before you decide to risk it, I will say that there are zero un-patrolled beaches where you will get away with having a bonfire. Most of them are high risk and it varries from getting hassled, ticketed, or arrested.

If it's a small fire and you're not an asshole the police officer may just tell you to put it out, but you risk a lot depending on their mood.

A big fire?

You're gonna have a bad time.

There's a spot in Biscayne National Park that allows for fires along the bay, which is what we did when I was in high school. But you still always had to watch out for the cops.


Do you like good sushi? I love it, and thankfully Miami has some great places. My personal favorite is Katana on 71 st in Miami beach is good cheap sushi.

You sit around the sushi bar and sushi comes floating around on boats. You pick up whichever you'd like. Still, be warned, if you don't time it right expect a 30-45 min wait. If you fail to get in you just need to walk around the corner, there you will find an awesome little Thai place with fantastic sushi.


Watch the Sunrise

The sunrise is beautiful here. I usually end up somewhere the vicinity of 8th and 14th. But it really doesn't matter, no matter where you land you will see a spectacular sunrise.

I will say that March in Miami is a joy weather-wise. And as long as you are luky enough to have some clouds, and there almost always clouds, you will get a truly breath taking sunrise.

Depending on the morning, it could get cold/breezy since even though it isn't too cold. It can still be cold if you know what I mean. As a counter to that you will also some mosquito repellant just in case the bugs decide to come out for a bite. They usually get hungry around dawn.

As for sunsets, they can be a whole lot tricker and are more dependent on where you are. One place, The Flamingo on the beach has some really nice sunsets. While a sunrise is almost a sure thing sunsets are really iffy. By the way, if you happen to be feel like a good samaritan, pick up some trash, people can get careless with their trash on the beach sometimes. While there are often organized community trash sweepings initiaives they aren't enough and it always helps if we make an extra effort when we can.

Enjoy Miami!


For A Spin

Oh, you may tell me that I am old fashioned, but I like to keep my exercise routines simple. That is why I am intrigued when a college of mine started talking about Spin today over lunch. It isn't so much an exercise as a concept. And while I was familiar with HIIT, Spin was new to me.

Basically, when you Spin you select a single activity which you will alternate between periods of maximum exertion through to periods of low exertion. In other words you are spinning up and down, exerting yourself for short spells.

I think that it is easier to see what I mean if I use an example.

One I've been doing lately is that I will cycle in sprints. What that means is that I will tend to ride the bike at a leisurely pace, say for increments of 60 seconds, then I will ramp it up to max for 30 seconds. I try and measure this by maintaining RPM's. It doesn't matter if you have a track or a stationary bike in my experience. You can walk/jog the curves and sprint the straightaways.

This will be repeated for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sprint is a relative term because after a few sprints you'll look like a flailing llama rather than an athlete.

All of this really doesn't layout a program. There isn't a HIIT/Spin program to follow. It is more a conceptual idea more than anything else. There studies showing that high intensity training provides similar cardiovascular benefits as more endurance programs with much less time commitment.

But, for things like actually loosing the fat you need to maximize calorie burn, for which longer routines are probably better.

I have been enjoying myself, which makes things, well enjoyable. And I have seen some improvements. But, anecdotal evidence isin't evidence and I don't want to get hopes up.

My best tool has just been to eat less. Though it is simple, it has been one of the hardest things about the whole experience.

simple != easy