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Live Health Chat

Fitness tips from Olympic ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi

May 9, 2011

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Olympic gold ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi chatted with readers about fitness and her experiences with skating and later with dancing on "Dancing With the Stars" on Monday, May 9.

Yamaguchi won the Olympic gold medal in ladies' singles skating in 1992 and also won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1992.

She took home the mirror ball trophy in the sixth season of "Dancing With the Stars" and now brings her fitness expertise to the public with her new DVD, "Kristi Yamaguchi: Power Workout."

RELATED: Barefoot shoes: The next best thing in fitness wear?




 Health chat: Fitness tips from Olympic ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi(05/09/2011) 
10:50
Jeannine Stein: 
Hello and thanks for joining our live Web chat with Kristi Yamaguchi. We'll start the chat in about 10 minutes, but in the meantime you can start posting your questions for Kristi!
Monday May 9, 2011 10:50 Jeannine Stein
11:02
Jeannine Stein: 
Hi, everyone, and welcome to our weekly live Web chat. We're so happy to welcome our guest, Kristi Yamaguchi. I'm sure you all know that Kristi is a gold-medal-winning Olympic figure skater and two-time world champion. She was named to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1998 and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1999, and toured as a pro skater with "Stars on Ice" from 1992 to 2002. Not one to rest on her laurels, Kristi also was the sixth season winner on "Dancing With the Stars." She founded the Always Dream Foundation to support children through educational and recreational initiatives, such as the Always Dream Play Park. Her most recent projects include the children's book "Dream Big, Little Pig!" and the just-released fitness DVD "Kristi Yamaguchi Power Workout."

Hi, Kristi! We're so happy you're with us today.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:02 Jeannine Stein
11:03
Kristi: 
Hi everybody! It's great to chat with all of you, looking forward to your questions!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:03 Kristi
11:03
Jeannine Stein: 
Your fitness DVD is a great workout. Tell us a little bit about what led you to do it.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:03 Jeannine Stein
11:04
Kristi: 
Being a busy mom now, I was looking for fun ways to stay active and found that I was doing DVDs quite often, so why not do one on my own!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:04 Kristi
11:05
[Comment From TammiTammi: ] 
Hi Kristi! I have been you fan for over 20 years. I just turned 40 in March and realize how much I have let being a husband and mom take so much of my time that I have put my fitness on the back burner. Now that my kids are older and do not need 24-hour supervision, I want to start back exercising. I plan to get your new DVD as a starter! (so long as you don't have me trying triple axel jumps!) You have a beautiful family and are a great inspiration!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:05 Tammi
11:06
Kristi: 
Thanks so much Tammi! Hope you enjoy the workout and I hope to help motivate you!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:06 Kristi
11:07
[Comment From JJ: ] 
What advice can you give on stretching? Which ones can I do as a male, in the morning, that will not take up too much time? Thanks. Also, good luck on the DVD release!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:07 J
11:08
Kristi: 
Hi J, thanks for your question - 1st, warm your muscles up before you stretch. The quad stretch, hamstring, and then some shoulder stretches will help loosen you up for the day.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:08 Kristi
11:09
Kristi: 
favorite quad stretch is just standing on one leg and grasping the ankle and pulling it up to hopefully touch your bottom ...
Monday May 9, 2011 11:09 Kristi
11:10
Kristi: 
hamstring- sitting on floor with leg extended in front and other in a stag position
Monday May 9, 2011 11:10 Kristi
11:10
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
I'm an adult skater. Is your power workout for adult skaters?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:10 Becky
11:12
Kristi: 
Hi Becky, the power workout is definitely something you can do in addition to your other off-ice training. The cardio combined with the sculpting will help with overall fitness.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:12 Kristi
11:12
[Comment From JJ: ] 
Very good to know, thanks.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:12 J
11:12
Jeannine Stein: 
Thanks for being with us on the chat today!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:12 Jeannine Stein
11:13
[Comment From JDJD: ] 
Did you have any injuries during your competitive career which affect/limit your current fitness routine? If so, how have you compensated?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:13 JD
11:14
Kristi: 
I'm lucky not to have any lingering injuries that affect my training now - thanks for the question JD
Monday May 9, 2011 11:14 Kristi
11:14
[Comment From JoanneJoanne: ] 
Hey Kristi! First off, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Secondly, could you please elaborate if there's a particular diet plan a figure skater has to abide by?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:14 Joanne
11:17
Kristi: 
Hi Joanne, my motto has always been everything in moderation. I tried to avoid junk food and stick to a well-balanced diet. But I still had a cookie every now and then. High protein is good during intense training, and I usually had pasta the night and day of competition. Not sure if that's proper, but worked for me:)
Monday May 9, 2011 11:17 Kristi
11:18
[Comment From Carl MannCarl Mann: ] 
What would you consider the best way to burn fat? What types of exercises would you recommend to the average person? How long and how often?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:18 Carl Mann
11:20
Kristi: 
Hi Carl, it's really about getting your heart rate up to a desired bpm and sustaining that for at least 30 mintutes. I'd check with a trainer to consider many factors to determine what your target heart rate is.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:20 Kristi
11:20
[Comment From KelseyKelsey: ] 
Hi Kristi -- I think you're great! How do you balance your family and fitness? I always want to prioritize family first, but of course don't want to miss out on my workouts by the end of the day.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:20 Kelsey
11:22
[Comment From LynnLynn: ] 
Do you have any suggestions to help other busy working moms like you to carve out time to exercise?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:22 Lynn
11:23
Kristi: 
Kelsey, so hard to juggle, I know! I'm lucky now that my kids are in school, so I try to fit a workout in after I drop them off in the morning. If I wait too long, I'm too tired to work out in the afternoon. I even make workout "dates" with friends or my husband for accountability
Monday May 9, 2011 11:23 Kristi
11:24
Jeannine Stein: 
Kristi, I'm going to jump in here for a second and let everyone know that you recently received a Legacy Award from the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose for your Always Dream Play Park in Fremont, Calif., a pioneering concept in playgrounds. The space is designed for children who have disabilities to take part in typical playground activities. Congratulations on that honor! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for the park?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:24 Jeannine Stein
11:25
Kristi: 
My Always Dream Foundation hosted a summer camp in Hawaii for kids with and without disabilities. We all learned so much from each other that I wanted to do something more lasting...
Monday May 9, 2011 11:25 Kristi
11:26
Kristi: 
It took 4 years to accomplish the playpark, but it's so rewarding when I take my own children and see so many families of ALL abilities enjoying it.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:26 Kristi
11:28
[Comment From VickieVickie: ] 
Does your DVD have exercises for firming up your arms? Also, what do you suggest to help with balance and posture? Your posture is amazing.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:28 Vickie
11:30
Kristi: 
Thanks Vickie, There are exercises for the arms throughout the DVD. For balance and posture, it stems from the core. Working on your abdominals will help for both. Also, there is an exercise in the DVD, when you are on your stomach and lifting up legs and arms, that helps with posture
Monday May 9, 2011 11:30 Kristi
11:30
[Comment From John RzeznikJohn Rzeznik: ] 
Kristi, I admire your efforts to help kids exercise & play instruments !!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:30 John Rzeznik
11:31
Kristi: 
Thanks, John!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:31 Kristi
11:31
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
Could you tell me the most important exercises for adult skaters trying to learn the flip, lutz and axel jumps?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:31 Becky
11:33
Kristi: 
The best thing is just practice on the ice. Many repetitions. Also, you can do some air turns on the floor to get your body used to rotating.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:33 Kristi
11:33
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I'm a big fan. What was it like working with professor Henry Louis Gates?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:33 Guest
11:34
Kristi: 
Hello there, It was quite an honor to sit down with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. And the gift of learning so much of my ancestry is so priceless.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:34 Kristi
11:36
[Comment From Carl MannCarl Mann: ] 
Thank you! And for how long would you recommend that one warm up before the 30-minute workout? Does 3-4 times per week seem appropriate?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:36 Carl Mann
11:36
Kristi: 
About 5 minutes of warmup - to get the blood flowing. 3-4 times a week seems a good start!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:36 Kristi
11:37
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
Have you worked with children with disabilities on the ice? I love watching the routines done by the special skaters in ISI competitions. What is the most enjoyed apparatus in your park?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:37 Becky
11:39
Kristi: 
I haven't worked directly with special needs skaters on the ice, but I did serve the Special Olympian skaters breakfast at the Winter Games a couple of years ago. The Apolo, which is a cone-shaped merry-go-round, is the most popular apparatus at the park.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:39 Kristi
11:40
[Comment From DavidDavid: ] 
I have a 5-year-old needing an outlet but wonder whether to let him tell me what sport he likes or just expose him to a little of everything.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:40 David
11:42
Kristi: 
Hi, David - I think it's great to listen and see where your child's interests lie, but at 5 you never know how serious they are. At such a young age, I think it's good to also introduce other activities and eventually they know better what they really do like.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:42 Kristi
11:43
Jeannine Stein: 
As an Olympic athlete, you're no stranger to long hours of training. What was training like for "Dancing With the Stars," and how did it compare to the work you put into figure skating?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:43 Jeannine Stein
11:44
Kristi: 
There were some very long days - up to 6 or 8 hours of training. It was intense and in such a short period of time and I tried to keep it fun. Training for the Olympics was a lifelong endeavor and took many years
Monday May 9, 2011 11:44 Kristi
11:45
Jeannine Stein: 
We only have about 15 minutes left with Kristi, so if you have any questions you'd like to ask, please post them now!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:45 Jeannine Stein
11:45
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
I just bought your DVD. Thank you so much for the time you've spent answering questions. I will follow your advice. I spend two hours a day on the ice but only about 20 minutes practicing jumps
Monday May 9, 2011 11:45 Becky
11:46
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
Okay, I didn't finish my question. How much time should be spent on jumps daily for learning?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:46 Becky
11:48
Kristi: 
Great Becky! I think you're on the right track. I would say to dedicate about 1/3 of your time on the ice to jumps. That way you have time to work on spins and skating skills as well. All are important. Thanks for your questions!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:48 Kristi
11:50
[Comment From KimberlyKimberly: ] 
Kristi - do you think it's important to wear a heart rate monitor while exercising?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:50 Kimberly
11:52
Kristi: 
If you are specifically doing cardio, treadmill, elliptical etc., it might help you stay on target. For other exercising, like weights or DVDs, it's probably not needed.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:52 Kristi
11:52
[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] 
Thank you so much. This was a pleasant surprise to be able to ask you questions.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:52 Becky
11:53
Jeannine Stein: 
Thanks for being with us on the chat, Becky!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:53 Jeannine Stein
11:53
Kristi: 
your welcome Becky!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:53 Kristi
11:54
[Comment From DarinDarin: ] 
I have a 3-year-old and one on the way. It's easy to find time to work out at home and get rid of the sympathy weight that I have gained, but my 3-year-old always wants to do what I do. Any suggestions on some 3-year-old exercizes?
Monday May 9, 2011 11:54 Darin
11:57
Kristi: 
Ooh, you're busy! I think it's great your 3-year-old wants to exercise with you. My kids do the same sometimes. I try to show them the stretches, and then if it's cardio, they just kind of dance around and try to keep up. Even if it's not the right moves, if they aren't in danger of hurting themselves, I just let them go. No free weights, though!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:57 Kristi
11:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Kristi, thank you 4 inspiring us 2 do well w our lives, from your skating 2 your social outreach, ur a wonderful person :)
Monday May 9, 2011 11:57 Guest
11:58
Kristi: 
Your welcome Guest:) it's my pleasure and I appreciate all the support!
Monday May 9, 2011 11:58 Kristi
11:58
Jeannine Stein: 
Thanks, everyone, for being part of our chat today with Kristi Yamaguchi. Kristi, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us today.
Monday May 9, 2011 11:58 Jeannine Stein
11:59
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
Thank you Kristi !
Monday May 9, 2011 11:59 Bob
12:00
Kristi: 
It was so fun chatting with all of you, thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. Be well and if interested in the DVD or other happenings - www.kristiyamaguchi.com or on facebook/kristiyamaguchi
Monday May 9, 2011 12:00 Kristi
12:01
Jeannine Stein: 
Today's chat will be archived on our site. Please join us next Monday, May 16, at 11 a.m. for another live Web chat. Be sure to check out all the chats from the L.A. Times and our sister Tribune papers: http://lat.ms/gv9Z5t
Monday May 9, 2011 12:01 Jeannine Stein
12:01
 

 
 
 

Photo credit: Blake Little