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Vita Girl

  • Staggering Statistics about Sugary Drinks

    As Vita Girl, I know how important it is to drink sports nutrition drinks to replace nutrients lost when working out and going about your day. But I am always shocked at the amount of sugar hiding in so-called sports drinks. Something else that shocked me? According to a report by MSNBC.com, approximately half of Americans drink a sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day. What’s more, teenagers and young men consume way more than recommended limits for maintaining good health.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed 17,000 Americans about their diets and found that one in 20 drinks the equivalent of over four cans of soda each day. And teenage boys drink the most soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids. The average male in the study consumed 175 calories per day from drinks containing added sugar, while the average female consumed 94 calories from drinks containing added sugar.

    These statistics are staggering when you consider that the American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 450 calories per week from beverages sweetened with sugar. That’s less than three cans of soda! Many schools have stopped selling soda and artificial juices to lower consumption, as sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    The results from the study offer yet another reason to consumer low sugar sports drinks (hello Vitalyte!) when reaching for something other than water.

  • Vita Girl Says: Get Running!

    Vita Girl here, and today I am going to state my case for why you should start running.

    1. It’s easy! Before you scoff, just think about it: running doesn’t require much more than a pair of running shoes—and maybe a muscle cramp relief drink. While it may be hard to master yoga poses or get into the groove in Zumba class, everyone knows how to run!

    2. Running may not require learning a new skill or purchasing any new equipment, but it is hard. Running burns tons of calories while giving your heart a workout.

    3. Running gets a bad rap for being hard on your joints, but running helps reduce body weight, which is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis). In addition to weight loss, running strengthens the ligaments around your joints and also boosts your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins.

    4. I don’t know about you, but I always feel less stressed after I run. Running has been proven to help combat depression. Try it and feel your stress melt away.

    5. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer, and runners also increase protection against stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Running has been shown to raise good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost immunity.

    6. A surprising study conducted by a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine looked at 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984-2005. The subjects (all over the age of 50) were asked to measure simple tasks, like opening a milk carton, each year. The disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners—and the researchers concluded that regular exercise could reduce disability and the risk of death by lowering inflammation, improving response to vaccination, improving thinking, learning and memory functions and increasing cardio fitness and bone mass. Need I say more?

  • I Tried It: Hybrid Yoga

    I love the zen feeling I get after yoga class, when I am walking home while downing an electrolyte replacement drink. Even though my body is sore from contorting itself into different yoga positions and harnessing my energy to remain in tree pose (for a full five minutes!), I still don’t feel like I am getting the same workout that I do after a calorie-melting run. Enter: hybrid classes, which fuse yoga with calorie-burning intensity. I tried a few different variations so here’s my take:

    Yoga for Athletes: A Vita Girl favorite! These postures are created for the sports-minded.

    Figure 4: Hello yoga, meet ballet. The mat poses work abs and arms, while ballet-inspired moves tackle the lower body.

    Core Fusion Yoga: A mash-up of yoga, Pilates and the Lotte Berk method.

    The verdict? I highly recommend any of these hybrid classes. So check out which one your gym is offering and be sure to bring your healthy hydration drink to class with you!

  • I Tried It: A Ballet-Inspired Workout

    I normally down my low sugar sports drink of choice—Vitalyte, of course—after my run or spinning class, my two preferred workouts. Lately, however, I have found myself a little bit bored of my normal routine and decided that incorporating one new workout each week would give me the taste of variety I have been craving.

    First up: The Bar Method. I was attracted to the workout because I took ballet for years growing up and also because my routine is cardio heavy and I have been searching for a way to integrate strength-training into my routine.

    The verdict? I couldn’t walk down the stairs at my office without wincing the next day, and the day after that was even worse! The Bar Method is ballet and dance based (don’t worry, dancing experience is not required) and is designed to strengthen and stretch every major muscle group. You stand at a ballet bar (I have found tapes teaching the class in which you use a chair for balance, too) for detail oriented work using small movements that will have your muscles screaming and your legs, abs and arms trembling. Bonus: the workout helps correct poor posture, too.

    The Bar Method isn’t the only ballet-inspired workout; look out for Barre3 and other variations and don’t forget to bring your Vitalyte drink with you to class—you’ll need it!

     

  • The Truth about Coconut Water

    There’s no denying that coconut water is buzzed about as a healthy hydration drink, but do the facts stack up to the hype surrounding coconut water? We did some research to find out.

     

    ·         Rumor: It is nature’s sport drink.

    o   During a hard workout, you sweat out sodium and potassium, but coconut water only replaces enough potassium and falls short when it comes to sodium. Down a Vitalyte drink post-workout and you will replenish sodium and potassium.

    ·         Rumor: Coconut water can speed up your metabolism.

    o   Fact: There is no research supporting this claim.

    ·         Rumor: Coconut water makes you look younger.

    o   Fact: Although it contains plant hormones called cytokinins, which have been known to slow the aging process in plants and fruit flies, the jury is still out on humans.

    Now that the myths surrounding coconut water have been debunked you have a few more reasons to choose Vitalyte!

  • Fishy Business

    When it comes to healthy eating, fish is always at the top of my list. Oily fish like two of my faves, salmon and tuna, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids—which have been known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce coronary heart disease. Although fish-heavy diets risk mercury exposure, the FDA recommends that people consume no more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from food daily. And fish are a low-fat source of protein, which is essential for weight loss.

    So sounds like fish are a go, right? Except for one thing: many popular fish are endangered. Vita Girl to the rescue! Read the following list for your best picks for fish to get your omega-3s.

    10 endangered fish:

    1. Albacore Tuna 2. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 3. Atlantic Cod 4. Atlantic Salmon 5. Chilean Sea Bass 6. Eel 7. Imported Shrimp 8. Japanese Yellowtail 9. Red Grouper 10. Orange Roughy

    Swap those 10 endangered:

    1. Alaskan Sablefish 2. Alaskan Wild Salmon 3. American Lobster 4. Pacific Cod 5. “Pole and Troll” Tuna 6. U.S.-farmed Barramundi 7. U.S.-farmed Shrimp 8. U.S.-farmed Tilapia 9. U.S.-Yellowtail Snapper 10. Wahoo

  • Energy Zapped?

    I don’t know about you, but after dragging myself to spin class or forcing myself to run as the sun comes up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I am always pooped come Thursday and Friday! I love working out in the morning and it is always worth it to know that I don’t have my workout looming ahead of me all day at work, but I start to lose my momentum toward the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your energy up throughout the week:

    ·         Get moving! This is a given, but the more active you are, the more energy you will have. If you sit at a desk all day like I do, try to take frequent breaks to walk around and boost your circulation. Also, make sure to sit up straight to increase your oxygen intake.

    ·         This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but regular workouts help keep energy high.

    ·        Dehydration is an instant energy-zapper and gives this Vita Girl an instant headache.

    ·         Try something new! New experiences give you a rush of adrenaline. Have you always wanted to try kayaking? Rent one and hit the water. I usually spin and run but when I want to mix things up I try a yoga or Pilates class.

    ·         Speaking of yoga, a few deep breaths can give you a boost when you’re feeling zapped and need a pick me up.

    ·         Make sure your blood-sugar never dips too low. I eat small meals throughout the day and always keep Vitalyte Sticks in my bag to jazz up water when I am short on time.

    ·          Spend time outdoors! There’s a reason you feel relaxed when at the beach or in the woods, spending time outside lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones.

  • Give Meatless Monday a Try

    Vita Girl here! Since it’s Monday, I thought I would make a healthy living suggestion that I have already adopted: Meatless Mondays. Relax, I’m not asking you to give up meat entirely (I am not a vegetarian myself), but cutting down on your meat consumption by just one day a week can lower the amount of sodium and saturated fat you consume—especially if you eat cold cuts.

    I like a turkey sandwich as much as the next girl, but there’s no denying that processed or cured meats contain nitrates, chemical preservatives, sodium and saturated fat. I always look for organic or whole cuts of meat for my sandwiches and try to eat meat-free a few days a week. To ease yourself into eating less meat, maybe try just one day a week, like Meatless Monday!

    Some of my favorite meatless lunches include a regular old PB&J on wheat bread; a healthy burrito made from grilled zucchini, black beans and low-fat cheese; and an egg white frittata with broccoli (made in the micro!). Paired with some fruit or baked pita chips and washed down with mineral water and I am completely satisfied!

  • Staying Germ-Free at the Gym

    Vita Girl here! Today I want to address a workout tip that you might not think about: avoiding germs at the gym. I know everyone’s sweaty and avoiding germs might seem like a lost cause, but a few simple antimicrobial tools can keep you from catching a cold or another illness while working out. Follow my health advice below and your workout will be (almost) germ-free.

    1. Invest in your own gym equipment. I know, that’s why you belong to a gym, right? Well, I splurged on my own yoga mat and medicine ball and have never been happier. Many newer yoga mats even boast antimicrobial technology so one quick swipe with a damp paper towel and you are good to go!

    2. That goes for a gym towel, too. You gym may provide towels, but think about how many sweaty people are reaching for them! You can find towels with antimicrobial technology to cut down on surface bacteria as well.

    3. How many times have you gone straight from the gym to meet a friend for coffee or run an errand? I admit that this happens to me frequently, which is why I always make sure to wear workout clothing with odor-eliminating and antimicrobial technology.

    4. You wouldn’t walk around a public restroom barefoot would you? Well, the same goes for the gym. Wear flip flips when walking around the showers and locker room. I even go one step further by wearing in-studio footwear during yoga and Pilates. Bonus: they help me from slipping in Downward Dog.

  • Stop Sweat It Its Tracks

    Full disclosure: I, Vita Girl, sweat when I run. A lot. I watch with envy as I pass girls without an ounce of sweat soiling their Lululemon outfits and don’t know how they do it! Gulping down an electrolyte replacement drink post-run hydrates me, but I set out to investigate what else I can do about the s-word (sweat).

    Even if you aren’t physically sweating, you are still losing water and vital nutrients, which is why drinking Vitalyte is important. According to a study conducted by Women’s Health, we perspire enough each day to fill a shot glass! And that amount is before running or working out. As for the amount you sweat, blame it on your DNA, which regulates the actual amount we sweat.

    The easiest way to stay dry when exercising, giving a presentation at work or even on a first date is to swipe on antiperspirant. Look for a formula that contains aluminum, which is absorbed into your skin and puts a cork in your sweat-producing eccrine glands. Applying antiperspirant at night will help keep you even drier the next day.

    Clinical-strength over-the-counter antiperspirant is another option. It packs more of a punch than regular old antiperspirant thanks to as much as 20 percent aluminum zirconium (the max amount permitted by the FDA).If that doesn’t work, Botox might be the answer. Relax, I’m not asking you to go the Real Housewives route, but the wrinkle reducer can be injected into the forehead, palms, feet or armpits to stop sweat for up to eight months. Be forewarned: the FDA-approved procedure isn’t cheap.

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