Blog Archives April, 2011

Harnessing That Childlike Energy

As a guest blogger for Vitalyte, I have to level with you. I am not a huge endurance sports person anymore. Although I used to be. When I was a kid, I was a gymnast for nearly 10 years. I went to practice four times a week for four hours, and during competition season, I was competing in meets almost every Saturday for hours on end. Coupled with those 16 hours of practice a week, I also had dance lessons for another two hours a week. On top of all that, I am proud to say, I was a straight-A student.

Boy, if only we had the energy now that we had when we were kids. Think of everything we could get accomplished. I want to channel the inner child in me and harness that energy once again. I challenge you to do the same.

To start with, I am going to make myself healthier. When I was a kid, I was always on my feet, whether that be at gymnastics practice or outside playing with my friends. I kept the blood flowing through my veins and I enjoyed it. Now it seems, getting me up and working out is such a task. There is always something else on my mind that I am thinking about or I simply just don’t enjoy working out. I’ve come up with a couple solutions to this.

One, I am going to consciously allot myself a certain amount of leisure time a day, where I am able to put my worries aside, and focus only on the moment I am in.

Second, I am going to harness the inner kid inside of me and start doing activities that I enjoy. Running is off the list. I never have nor ever will enjoy it. Maybe I’ll look into taking some dance classes, going swimming, rollerblading, bike riding – the stuff I used to love when I was a kid.

The point is to figure out what made me so happy when I was younger, because when I am happy, I feel healthier. And when I feel healthier, I feel like I can take on the world. I urge you to join me on this mission this year to take back your inner child. Have fun, get healthy!

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Water Love. More Great Reasons to Get Your H20!

I grew up in Seattle so it’s safe to say, I know a lot about water. It’s everywhere up there. There are two lakes surrounding the city, a vast Sound that it’s nestled in, and plenty of rivers and streams to keep all the fishermen in the Pacific Northwest happy. And the rain. Oh the rain. It seems to remind native Seattleites everyday of its existence. Ok, maybe not that often but quite a bit. Now I live in sunny Southern California. And I find I hardly get enough water in my life. My skin is constantly dry, my eyes are constantly searching for tears. So this has all led me to do some thinking about the importance of good ol’ H2O in our lives. We all know that water and hydration are essential to proper functioning, but did you know about these other benefits?

For one, if you’re not properly hydrated you will most likely feel fatigued. A lack of water forces your brain to work harder than it otherwise would to perform the same tasks. Wonder why you have that splitting headache? It could be because you haven’t had enough water. Cells need water to function. So, don’t starve them!

Now this next little tidbit of hydration information particularly caught my interest. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t get enough dairy everyday. As a mildly lactose-intolerant individual, I cannot go near milk, limit my cheese intake, and only have yogurt on special occasions. So, one thing I worry about is getting enough calcium in my diet. I definitely don’t want my bones to start decaying someday. Well, drinking mineral water may help to up your calcium intake and prevent bone loss. There we go. Crisis averted.

Here’s another little doozy that I just love. Drinking cold water (around 37.4 degrees) can help to increase caloric expenditure for about an hour after you drink it. The cooler water forces your body to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. Translation – you burn more calories. Also, having a glass of water before you eat can help to curb your appetite so you eat less.

So there you have it. A few cool reasons why you need to stay hydrated!

Post Marathon Recovery Advice

Hello Vitalyte fans! How was the La Jolla Half? I bet many of you are still feeling the burn. And perhaps I should have posted this sooner. But anyways, here are some great tips for post-marathon recovery (provided by the lovely Active.com). Listen up and get your body back on track.

Step 1 – Recovery actually should start the minute you finish the race. As soon as you’re done, slowly wind your body down. After all, depending on if it was a half or a full, you just ran between 13 to nearly 27 miles. What you really need to do is keep walking for at least 10 minutes after you cross the finish line. Doing so will allow your heart rate and blood flow to return to their normal states. It also reduces the possibility of blood pooling in your legs, which causes fainting. For the remainder of the day you should ideally get up and walk around for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.

Step 2 – Refuel that empty tank of yours! As soon as possible after the run, eat a healthy meal that includes carbohydrates, protein and sodium. It’s said that essential nutrients are most efficiently absorbed in the first 30 to 60 minutes after the race has ended. That being said, get a good PB & J sammie and drink up that Vitalyte!

Step 3 – After a few hours have passed since the race, it’s time to soak your muscles in cool water. San Diegans, head down to the beach for a refreshing dip in the ocean. Those of you near a lake, take advantage of its cool waters. If you can’t get to either, draw a lukewarm bath at home and then add ice. Anyway you go, you’ll want to soak for about five minutes to help decrease inflammation and help speed the recovery process. Definitely avoid hot tubs or hot baths! As tempting as they may be, the heat can be a roadblock to recovery.

Step 4 – Hydrate to the max. Um hello, you just ran a marathon. Drink drink drink to replace those lost electrolytes. Water is key, but sports drinks like – do I really have to hint anymore here? – Vitalyte, will help bring your electrolytes fast. Also, eat small meals frequently throughout the rest of the day.

Step 5 – Massage out the pain. Schedule a massage no sooner than two hours after the race. If you get one too soon they can create added soreness. But, when you get one a little later on, they have a great impact on post-marathon recovery. Plus, they just feel great and are relaxing.

Step 6 – For the next 7 to 10 days following the race refrain from running and stick to lower impact activities like swimming, cycling and yoga. If you run too soon after a big race, you are just asking for an injury.

Step 7 – When you do start running again, don’t go full-speed ahead right away. Slowly work your longer and harder runs back into your routine.

Hope these handy tips help some of you!

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Run Your Heart Out! Sunday’s La Jolla Half Marathon

Picturesque vistas of turquoise water and golden sands, the feel of the wind blowing through my hair, the warm sun on my face…. These are a few of my favorite things. Sunday’s La Jolla Half Marathon is coming up and it’s going to be stellar. Ok, ok, I’m not actually slated to run in the race but I for sure may cruise out there to watch everyone and support Vitalyte. But for those of you hard-core marathoners out there who are running, you’re in for a fantastic time.

Here are some motivational thoughts and race-day tips to get you physically and mentally prepared for Sunday (or any half marathon you may run):

Just Show Up.
You may find that come race-day morning you are tired, stressed-out or just not mentally prepared for the challenge ahead of you. Yes, 7:30AM is pretty early. But the crucial thing is to get there and just do it. Stop over-thinking or if you are going to think about anything, think about how great it will feel to be out running next to the ocean. Even if you get there, start the race and can’t get to the finish line, the important thing is that you were there.

Take It All In.
Now that you’re up and going, enjoy every minute of it. Enjoy the fact that you have two legs that can carry you all those miles. Enjoy the way you feel at mile 1, when you’re fresh and full of energy. Enjoy how you feel at mile 10, even if you are beyond drained (as I would be) and think you can’t go any farther.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Well, I don’t know about winning the race, but you will at least be able to finish so long as you don’t overdo it, especially at the beginning. Pace yourself and bring your pace down a bit in the beginning. Then, kick it up a notch or two for the last few miles.

Have Fun.
See all those people on the sidelines? (I will be one of them.) They are there for you. They’ll be cheering you on so don’t forget to have fun and cheer back. High-five the kids on the sidelines. Wave to the crowd. Feeling like you want to give up? Find a fellow racer and start up a friendly conversation. It’s amazing how your pain magically goes away when you focus on outside things.

Last but not least, Sport Your Finisher’s Medal.
Wear it everywhere. Take it to the bar with you. Take it to dinner. You made it though the race. You deserve to have a little self-serving glory. So go ahead and be proud. You did it.

Good luck on Sunday everyone! We will be rooting for you!

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Mother Knew Best – Eating Like a Kid Again

Happy Monday Vitalyte friends! I did some thinking over the weekend and I came to realize that, frankly, I eat terribly. As a 26 year old, who’s on the go all the time, occasionally living paycheck to paycheck and who, to be quite honest, fears her own cooking, my eating habits are not the best. In fact I usually expect a weekly lecture from my mother asking me if I’m eating well and reminding me to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday. But what can I say? I don’t have the time nor the desire to grocery shop or cook. Usually I grab a granola bar for breakfast or skip it altogether, I eat out almost every lunch and my dinners usually consist of cheese and crackers or a frozen pizza.

Let’s compare this to when I was 10. At that age, my mom cooked for me. She always made sure I had three complete meals a day – healthy, balanced meals – and that I had snacks in between. I always got enough protein, fruits and vegetables. I never overdosed on sugar. Never touched alcohol. And certainly never went near coffee. No wonder I had so much energy.

So why have I let myself succumb to the vices I am a prisoner of now? Convenience, laziness, heck, maybe even a tinge of rebellion have caused me to change my eating habits so drastically from when I was a kid. Well I say, the bunk stops here. No more excuses. I am going to start changing my consumption habits not for any dietary, weight-loss reasons, but simply because I want to feel better. They say you are what you eat, so I have got to stop putting garbage into my body. My mother never let me do it when I was a kid; she knew better, And now I know better too. I am going to make a conscious effort to grocery shop for healthy foods, not just what is convenient. I am going to conquer my fear of cooking and try new recipes. And I am going to try to kick my caffeine habit (this last one may be the hardest). There are so many other healthy energy drinks that I can try for energy instead…. hmmm like Vitalyte maybe?

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