In honor of our country turning 236 years old, I thought it would share some awesome things that are made in the shape of the 48 contiguous United States (sorry Hawaii and Alaska)!

Bookshelves in the shape of the states

Skillets in the shape of the states

License plate map of all 50 states

And just cause this is awesome, a footprint shaped pool!

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here, here, here, and here.


30 Days to Hawaii: The AMT Workout

I recently tweaked my knee running around the steep hills of Queen Anne, and after consulting with dear old Dr. Google, apparently the best thing (and possibly only thing) I can do is just rest my newly bum knee and keep off of it for a while. Unfortunately, Dr. Google doesn’t know that I am on a strict Hawaii-bound schedule, and to me, being inactive before heading to the beach is as big of a faux pas has a surgeon getting high before a surgery.

So dealing with my aging body, I’ve decided to try something new for a change. I hopped one of the new AMT machines, or the Adaptive Motion Trainers, at my gym and gave it a go.  It’s like a weird hybrid stairmaster/treadmill/elliptical that lets you switch from short to long strides or move in to deep lunges pretty ergonomically. It helps you mimic a running motion without the impact of a treadmill/sidewalk, but still gives you the flexibility of adjusting your strides, unlike an elliptical. You also can shift from walking to running and it will automatically adjust to your movements. It also has two dual action arms for a total-body workout. In addition, I’m lucky enough to have one with a personal TV right on it, so any workout is a breeze.

The AMT, or Adaptive Motion Trainer

Armed with my new machine pal, I decided to challenge myself to adding an hour of this machine workout in addition to any workout I would normally do. I found that the calorie calculator (though I’m not sure how accurate they are) actually noted that I would burn more calories than I normally would on another machine within an hour, typically within the 680-750 cal/hr range. And since it only takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat, I decided it would be cool to see if I could shape up a bit before going on my trip. Besides, having packed on the winter weight, it was time to get a little more active anyway.

Some Notes

  • Since deciding about Hawaii 25 days ago, I’ve used this machine 18 times.
  • In total, I have done 19.5 hours on the AMT, typically in 1 or 1.5 hour increments.

In the Meantime… Multitasking.

  • I read 14 magazines
  • I watched 8 March Madness Basketball games
  • I read 2 books (1/2 Catching Fire, Mockingjay and 1/2 The Dogs of Babel)
  • Watched ~10-15 episodes of How I Met Your Mother, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report

Measurable Results

  • Burned 14318 calories
  • Traveled 114.12 miles

Having done this on top of my typical workout, whether it be boot camp, yoga, or weight training, I can honestly say I was able to drop ~4 pounds just because of this machine alone. My knee doesn’t hurt nearly as much, I got a lot of reading done, and most importantly, it doesn’t feel like I spent a ridiculous amount of time working out. Part of it was having reading material or TV to watch, since for me it makes the time go by quicker and I feel twice as accomplished versus just working out. For anyone looking for a low-impact, measurable, and steady machine to add to your workouts, the AMT should be it.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photo from here.