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Health and Fitness information to improve your quality of life


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Essentials Of The Long Run

runwithyourheart

I’ve starting running again; gradually increasing my mileage each week.  As I progress, I realize the importance of preparing properly for my run.  There are many factors that can affect your running experience such as your clothing, the weather, dehydration, poor sleep, and insufficient warm-up

  1. Carb load  and hydrate the day before your long run– commonly referred to as  Carbohydrate Loading or carbo-loading, is a strategy used by endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, to maximize the storage of glycogen (or energy) in the muscles and liver. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day with your meals and avoid excess caffeine. Urine should be a pale, straw color which is the best indicator of hydration. Dark yellow usually indicates dehydration.
  2. Get plenty of rest the day before your long run and mentally prepare yourself for a good run.  Go to bed early to ensure a good night of sleep.  Be sure to set your alarm to get up early to prepare for your run. Check the weather for your planned run time and lay out appropriate clothing and running shoes for your run. Don’t forget your Garmin watch if you keep pace and mileage during your run. When selecting clothing, consider layering with a long sleeve running shirt, arm sleeves, compression socks, hat, etc.
  3. Pack a snack bag the night before to take with you with items for during and after your run.  I normally pack a water bottle and sports beans to carry with me on my run.  I also pack a full water bottle and a banana and/or energy bar for after the run.  It’s important to have snacks and water on hand due to issues you may have with low blood sugar, or electrolyte imbalance.  Per Dr. Bennett’s article:  Hydration and Electrolytes – Impact on Athletic Performance by Paul B. Bennett, Jr. Ph.D

The body performs delicate balancing acts to keep water and electrolyte levels optimal. If blood sodium levels drop too low, the kidneys are stimulated to produce more urine. This restores balance by lowering the amount of water in the blood. If sodium levels get too high, thirst develops, stimulating the person to drink. Hormones secreted in response to thirst cause the kidneys to produce less urine and conserve water. During intense exercise and sweating these systems are taxed and the endurance athlete must sometimes anticipate where the system (body) is heading in terms of water and electrolyte status in order to avoid problems. The take home message here is: If you are thirsty – drink water! Your body is talking to you.

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  • 4.  Plan to get up at least an hour before you need to leave for your run. Drink water upon arising and eat a good breakfast.  I’ve found that organic oats with sliced bananas and a scoop of whey protein is the perfect pre-run fuel.  The carb and protein combination helps provide sustained energy for a long run.
  • 5.  Always make sure you tell someone where you are running and if possible run with a friend.  It’s always best to run with someone in case of emergencies that may occur when running.  Remember safety in numbers.  Make sure you have your cell phone fully charged and carry with you if possible.  Per article on myrunningtips.com

 

  • Run With A Buddy

    As running safety tips go, this one is not always doable, but if you can find someone to run with regularly, great! – you can look out for each other and you are statistically less likely to be attacked if you are with another runner. But finding a running partner who matches the same pace as you, same running goals and so on, can be difficult. Maybe joining a local running club could help you find someone?

Remember preparation is key for a good run and as you increase mileage it become more important.  After your run make sure you take time to stretch, hydrate, and re- fuel to help aid in recovery.  Consider wearing compression socks to help with circulation and prevent muscle soreness.  Taking a little extra time for planning your run can make it a much more enjoyable experience. Happy running!

 

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Can’t Lose Weight? Check Your Shampoo

mani

Self Care Products And Weight Loss

The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes and prevention of disease. ~Thomas Edison

It’s essential to make informed choices regarding the products you purchase and consume. Many people understand the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables and eliminating fast food to lose weight. However, non-organic produce can contain high levels of toxins and pesticides. Especially the soft skinned produce such as peaches, strawberries, apples and potatoes. Therefore, eating organic fruits and vegetables helps to limit pesticide exposure that has been linked to hormone disruption and weight gain.  But what about self-care products such as toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, and lotions?

Did you know your skin is the largest organ of the body. Think about the numerous products you use everyday such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, moisturizer and lotions. These products absorb directly into your skin and can expose you to numerous chemicals on a daily basis. Toxins can affect hormones and disrupt their normal function. Take a look at the ingredients in your makeup, hair products, toothpaste, and other self-care items you currently use. The ingredient aluminum is often found in antiperspirants and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Talc found in many beauty products has recently been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Many of these products contain chemicals that are linked to cancer, auto immune disease, obesity, and many other health issues.

Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton, author of The Detox Diet- Eliminate Chemical Calories and Enhance Your Natural Slimming System , indicates that weight gain results from an overload of chemicals and toxins we are exposed to from food, skin care, cleaning products and the environment we live in. Therefore, in addition to eating healthy, it’s equally important to consider what is in the self care products you are using on a daily basis. Consider switching to organic makeup, shampoo, soap, and skin care products to help decrease your exposure to daily toxins. Also, check your products with the Environmental Working Group database (EWG). The EWG provides you with information that helps you determine the safety regarding the ingredients and toxicity of the products you use.

Make an attempt to clean up your environment by choosing organic foods and self-care products. Clean out your bathroom cabinets and toss makeup, shampoos, and other self care products that contain chemicals and toxins. Increase your awareness of the items you buy by always checking the ingredient list before you purchase. Use the EWG link below to search for items of interest and to help you determine their toxicity level to make a more informed choice regarding your health and safety. You may find that once you begin to reduce the toxin levels in your food and self care products, that you may have increased energy levels and possibly lose a couple of pounds.

Click on the link below to check products for safety.

EWG database

Click here to learn more


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What’s Holding You Back?

What’s holding you back? Write down a mini goal each day of the week that will help you towards your long term goals.. Remember it’s the small steps each day that add up. What are you going to do today to help you attain your goals? Don’t be satisfied to remain the same- go after the changes you seek one day at a time.

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Organic Dark Chocolate Protein Bites

I love making my organic dark chocolate protein bites. They are a great post workout snack!

3 scoops of organic #protein
1/2 cup organic cocoa
1 cup organic oats
1/2 cup of shredded organic coconut
1/2’cup of raw almonds-processed in blender
2 tbsp of organic coconut oil
2 tbsp of organic honey
Organic almond milk to desired consistency
#Organic Chia seeds

Mix dry ingredients in med mixing bowl. Stir in wet ingredients and form into bite size balls. Roll in shredded coconut and chia seeds

Keep in freezer20170728_135352


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I’m writing this at 4 am due to the fact that I’ve been up most of the night with a “splitting headache.”  I’ve had a headache the last day and a half that wouldn’t go away even with my occasional ibuprofen.

As a fitness professional, I hate taking medicine and use it as a last resort. I’m healthy, eat a clean diet, and get plenty of exercise.  At age 57, I take no medication and feel better than I did in my thirties.

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I developed my headache a day and a half ago and attributed it to allergies.  I was occasionally sneezing and had “teary eyes.”  However, after taking ibuprofen at bedtime and applying ice packs to my forehead, I still had no relief.  I woke up several times during the night and finally at 3:45 am decided to get up.

I have 3 fitness classes to teach this morning and it wasn’t going to be pretty; simply getting up and moving around made me feel like I  had a horrible hangover.  So how was I going to teach?  I decided I’d try to drink some water and eat something to see if that would make a difference.  I had already increased my water intake when my head started throbbing;  I know dehydration can cause headaches.  But that didn’t seem to help.  I walked downstairs to make some “bulletproof coffee” which is simply coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil hoping that would help.

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I have two vices coffee and peanut butter!  I mean that’s not bad….right??

 

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Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats. Here are some additional benefits of consumption: Health Benefits of Peanut Butter.  Be careful and buy a healthy brand though; you can find more info in my article: Are There Dangers Lurking In Your Peanut Butter?

However my number one vice, coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine to help boost physical performance and muscle recovery.

Health benefits of coffee

Therefore my two little vices can’t be that bad- right??  Unless it’s caffeine withdrawal.

I tend to get into trouble when I get off schedule and that’s what happened to bring about my misery.  I suddenly remembered as I walked into the kitchen at 4 am and  gazed at my coffee maker that I drank instant decaf coffee the morning this all started.  Which meant NO CAFFEINE FOR AN ENTIRE DAY AND A HALF!  BINGO- I had a headache that only caffeine would cure.  Sure enough after drinking my first cup I began to feel better.  This made me realize the need to cut down on my caffeine consumption.   The article –Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
points out:

Caffeine withdrawal is no laughing matter and can be very debilitating for those who are suddenly without caffeine.

This made me realize how truly tormenting it must be to have an addiction to something more serious such as alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers, cocaine, etc.  I mean even with my simple caffeine withdrawal headache, I was desperate to get some caffeine to see if it would make me feel better. A good but painful lesson. Now hopefully I can get more sleep and be refreshed to teach my classes. Wish me luck 🙂

ironbody

 


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Define The Muscle, Burn The Fat

runwithyourheart

6 mile run this weekend felt good!  The humidity was intense even at 6 am but I pushed through and got out of my comfort zone.  My legs were tired and I was definitely “running with my heart.”  My runs around 6 miles or more are great fat burning workouts for me.  I really can see more muscle definition when I combine longer runs and weight training.

I finished my run with lots of water to replenish fluids and a post run snack. IMG_20170709_150908This smoothie with avocado, spinach, and pear was delicious. I definitely moved out of my comfort zone during my run and this was a well deserved treat

After recovery, I followed up my cardio with some triceps and chest work. I did 4 sets of tricep pressdowns alternating with bosu ball close grip push ups to burn out my triceps.  triceppressdown