Monthly Archives: March 2012

#FitnessFriday: Get Out, Get Active!

Photo Courtesy of AugustaGA.gov
The first step to getting active is to get motivated. Several things could be inhibiting your energy levels and your diet could be the culprit. For some tips on diet and food choices, check back to our Tips To Get You Moving post from last week.We’d like to supplement what we had there with more tips to help your workout and to keep you motivated.
  1. Work up a sweat.
    Vigorous work-outs – when you’re breathing hard and sweating – help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20 minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more stretching and deep breathing.
  2. Get fit with friends or family.
    Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike ride or hiking, with a group each week.
  3. Join in physical activities at school.
    Whether you take a physical education class or do other physical activities at school, such as intramural sports, structures activities are a sure way to feel good, look good and stay physically fit.
  4. Make healthy eating and physical activities fun!
    Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous – try new sports, games and other activities as well as new foods. You’ll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals – don’t try changing too much at once.

Be Happy! Be Healthy!

-TK

#FitnessFriday: Tips To Get You Moving!

Photo courtesy of the USDA
We know it can be hard to get energized right out of bed. But your daily commute doesn’t have to be a drag and you definitely don’t have to walk through the day like a zombie. To help you get moving, we’ve listed out some tips to help you through your day.
  1. Start your day with breakfast.
    Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy-to-prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night’s pizza!
  2. Get Moving!
    It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
  3. Snack smart.
    Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
  4. Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
    You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
  5. Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables.
    These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
    Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
  6. Foods aren’t good or bad.
    A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.

Be Healthy! Be Happy!

-TK

Spring Has Sprung: How to Get the Perfect Wash!

Spring is here, so do you know what that means? Time to wash that winter grime off your car and have it shining like new!

Unfortunately, washing a car isn’t always an easy thing and without knowing, you could be damaging your paint. Here are a few tips to keeping your car shining like new the proper way.

After months and months of driving through winter conditions, your car can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Without a regular wash, that dirt and grime can slowly start to eat away at your paint, primarily the clear coat. The clear coat is your car’s first line of defense for the paint.

Since it’s getting a bit warmer outside, it’s a perfect time to treat your car to a wash. Don’t worry, we won’t go into detail about waxes and clay bars, we’re only here to perform a basic wash.

First, untangle that hose that has been left untouched for several months and begin to spray down the car. Our objective here is to remove as much dirt as we can with just water. We DO NOT want to take a cloth and start wiping down the car, this will drive dirt into your car’s clear coat and this will result in what’s called a swirl mark. A swirl mark is a tiny scratch in your car’s clear coat that will leave the exterior paint looking cloudy.

So take your time spraying the car down, making sure to wash that dirt away. After that’s done, it’s time to get out the soap and car wash mitt. The best mitts on the market are made of sheepskin as they are known not to leave any marks in the paint, but any good quality carwash mitt will do. When preparing the carwash soap, remember to use a clean bucket. Use a preferred car wash solution for best results (i.e. Turtle, Meguiar’s, Mothers, etc). If on a budget, a car wash solution at your local auto parts store can work as well.

Use the outlined measurements on the bottle and mix the solution. Dip your (mitted) hand into the solution and start from the highest point of the car, working your way down. Section out each part of the car, and focus on that area. Wash the roof first, spraying the solution off when you are finished. Also be sure to wash out the mitt after each section as it may have collected dirt while washing the car.

Be sure to use a light waving technique as you massage the soap into your car’s paint. Take your time, and wash off each section. When it’s time to dry the car off, you’ve got two options. You can use either a microfiber towel or a chamois, both can be found at your local auto parts store. If you prefer the microfiber towel, it’s best to use one towel for each section (bumper, door, hood, roof, etc). This way you isolate the dirt to one cloth without spreading to other areas. If you use a chamois, just spray it down and wring it out after each section is dried. Technique is basically the same as washing, use a light waving motion to wipe down the exterior.

Voila! You now have a nice, happy, clean car.

If you don’t have the time or don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, our Detailing Specialists at any Koons dealership will be able to take care of it for you.

Happy Spring!

-KK

Fitness Friday: Head for the Hills

Photo courtesy of the City of Louisville, Colorado

We’re now several weeks into the 2012 Biggest Loser Challenge and many of us have seen some incredible weight loss and an adoption of healthier diets.

Along with making the right food choices, exercise is also a necessary component for speeding up your metabolism, keeping that weight off, and also to improve overall health.

Running is typically the first type of exercise one thinks of when contemplating weight loss and physical fitness. There are several types of running – some stationary, some on woody trails, and some on concrete. These types of running all have their own difficulties associated with them. To get the best out of your exercise, we recommend you head for the hills.

Roads with long, gradual inclines are a great way to keep your workout consistently intense. Rolling roads are ideal for intervals if you push your pace going up each hill and recovering on the way down. Too chilly outside? Then play with your treadmill and bump up the incline. Make sure to keep your spine straight, gaze straight and abs in and up to ensure ideal alignment for maximum results. Walk on a 5 incline for a minute then back down to 3 for a minute. Play with your intervals and boost your health and your butt. Try it. Have Fun. Bring on the hills. Your heart and lungs will be thanking you.

If this is a little tame for you, carry a resistant band (get one with handles) and every 10 minutes, stop to do one of these multi-muscle moves:

Overhead press and squat:

Stand on one resistant band in the center with your feet hip width apart knees slightly bent.

Holding the handles of the band at your shoulders, squat down, when you come back to stand, press your arms above your head. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

FORM: Make sure to engage your abs and sit the weight in your heels as you squat. Start slow and feel the movement pattern then pick up the flow for quicker, but precise reps.

Balancing triceps press:

Stand on the band with your right foot in the middle, balancing with your left foot bent at 90 degrees, foot behind you (knees should touch). Hold each handle of the band behind your head, keeping your elbows bent and close to your head, biceps alongside of ears. Extend your hands to the sky as you do a modified one-legged squat.

Advanced- bend your right knee until left toe touches the ground. Repeat 12 times and switch sides.

FORM: Keep abs engaged. Try the balance part first. Stand on both feet and just focus on the triceps press.

Whatever your fitness level, remember to Be Happy! Be Healthy!

-TK

Maintenance Monday: Air Filters

The job of an air filter is pretty simple; to keep the air entering the engine as clean as possible. Though the process is simple, allowing your air filter to get clogged with dirt can have a serious impact on your engine’s performance, and even it’s life span.

As you drive about your engine breathes in the air that passes by. Sometimes this air can include dirt, debris, bugs, etc. Your trusty air filter catches these things while letting in fresh, clean air into the engine. All is well, your engine is happy and the air filter is doing its job. After miles and miles, the filter begins to wear down and all the dirt and debris starts to clog the filter. A dirty air filter means that your engine has to work harder to do its job, this puts an increased load on the engine and on the gas pedal since it’s harder to accelerate as before with a clean filter. It’s typical to see diminished performance and fuel economy with a dirty filter.

Photo courtesy of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

In the worst case, the air filter can get so dirty that it stops doing its job and allows dirt to flow into the engine. This dirt then makes its way into the oil, and given enough time, could start to do some damage.

Replacing your air filter can restore your engine’s performance and fuel economy. Drop by any of our service departments to have your vehicle’s filter inspected or replaced.