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Workout Tips

  • The Surf City Marathon: A Lesson.

    By Laura Conley

    The Surf City Half Marathon was a big lesson for me!  I learned to listen to my body and give it more than enough rest!!!  I had been sick the week prior to the race with the stomach flu and after drinking lots of Vitalyte to replace electrolytes and fluid lost I thought I was better. I knew that my digestive system was still not quite right, but I thought I could push through and be ok. Long story short - boy was I WRONG!!!  I started out the race very conservatively and then picked up the pace as the miles flew by.  Around mile 6-7 though, my stomach decided that enough was enough!  I started cramping and having to make frequent bathroom visits.  I think the running really churned things up in my gut all over again.  I was so disappointed that I couldn't keep running strong, but I never quit.  I just kept jogging/walking/bathroom visiting until I reached the finish line.  By some miracle I finished in about 1:30ish!  Still, I will always remember that race because it was a reminder that I am human and I should listen to the my body when it needs to rest.  I can't wait to come back next year nice and healthy to race a new Personal Record!!! :)

  • 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?

  • When to Workout: Morning, Noon or Night

    By Captain Vitalyte

    I've often heard that starting your day with a workout is the way to go...and I get that. It kick starts your metabolism, burns more because you have yet to eat much and, it starts your day off on the right track. But what really is the right time of day to work out... or is there one? Some people are just not morning people and even those who are, I would imagine, still have a rough time getting up on occasion. Further, I can get up for a light jog or a yoga class in the early morning hours, but a butt kicking bootcamp or a gnarly set of sprints? I just don't think my body is ready for that before the sun's up. That said here are some pros and cons of early am workouts you might find interesting.

    Mornings Pros: • The majority of people who exercise consistently do so early in the day. It is easier to form the exercise habit through morning exercise. • Fewer distractions and schedule interruptions. • Can make time for exercise by getting up a bit earlier. • Raises your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories earlier in the day. • Gives a feeling of physical energy for hours. • Improves your mental acuity for hours. • Cooler temperatures in summer. • Air pollution is lowest in the morning. • The body adjusts to your exercise time, so if you are training for a morning sports event, train in the morning.

    Cons: • Body temperature is at its lowest 1-3 hours before awakening, making morning a time of naturally lower energy and blood flow. • Cold, stiff muscles may be more prone to injury - be sure to warm up well before doing a higher intensity workout, and do gentle stretching. • If you do not enjoy morning exercise, you won't easily form a habit by choosing a morning workout time. • Because body temperature and hormones are higher in late afternoon, you probably get the same or better calorie-burning effects later in the day.

    Noon Pros: • Can make a habit to walk and exercise at lunch time and break time. • Can use a walking and exercise partner at work, school, or in your neighborhood. • Body temperature and hormone levels are higher than first thing in the morning. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for lunch, can help you avoid break-time snacking. • Improves blood flow to the brain so you are sharper in the afternoon. • Stress relief from work, school, or home stresses.

    Cons: • Time limits may not allow you to get in a full workout - any amount is good, but best if you can walk for 30-60 minutes or more at a stretch • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times. • Research shows that lung function is worst at noon.

    After work Pros: • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 pm. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle. • Research shows lung function is best at 4-5 pm. • Muscles are warm and flexible. • Perceived exertion is lowest - how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster by doing so in the afternoon. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner. • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.

    Cons: • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times.

    Evening Pros: • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 pm. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle. • Muscles are warm and flexible. • Perceived exertion is low - how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner. • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.

    Cons: • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times. • Need to allow one to three hours to wind down after walking or exercise to be able to fall asleep.

    As you can tell...there are perks and downfalls to them all so I guess the long and the short of it is find out what works for you and stick to it. Here's to working it out.

    In curls, sprints and downward facing dogs in the morning, noon and night

    Captain Vitalyte

  • My first official race back to competitive running...

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    By Milena Glusac

    Decision is made! My first official race back to competitive running will be the Hollywood Half Marathon on April the 7th. Yep at 6am I will tow the line with thousands of other runners to run with the stars in the city of cinematic legend. I am so excited! I have waited seven years to be able to make my return to racing and with the help of Vitalyte, the official drink sponsor of the race, I have been able to train and get my body healthy. The next nine months is going to be fun, hectic and be filled with many busy days as I juggle training, working and coaching.

    You can follow my progress up to the race and even join me in my training for this inaugural event. I will be posting my workouts and give training tips so feel free to message me with any questions.

    Training thus far is going great and I know this time around my racing is going to be much more enjoyable because now running is just a beautiful piece in a wonderful life-it’s not the entire picture.

  • Pilates Perks

    I'll say it. I'm a yogi -  not a Pilates Person-  but recently, this hype around "the other core workout" has gotten me curious. I just went through yoga teacher training while a good friend of mine went through Pilates Plus instructor training and all this talk of reformers, rings and the infamous hundreds has inspired me to do some digging. So here we are to uncover the truth about this workout people swear by, from one Pilates virgin to another.

    Again, to preface, I know nothing about Pilates so forgive me if I post incorrectly. I thought it might be interesting though to take you with me along my journey as I research, then actually do Pilates, and then report my findings.

    And so it starts: What is Pilates?

    Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.

    What kinds of Pilates are there?

    As it turns out, all Pilates forms derive from the form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates, who passed away over 40 years ago and only now is reaching his height of fame. I also found out that there are SO many types of Pilates. After doing my research I still don't know what kind uses the reformer, the rings etc but there is Classical Pilates (recommended to start), Winsor Pilates (remember those infomercials back in the day?), Stott Pilates, Power Pilates, the list goes on. There's also Yogalattes, which they offer at my studio so I'll blog about that soon.

    The long and the short of this ambiguous blog post is that there's a lot of Pilates out there and I'm going to uncover this mystery...even if it means I force my Pilates instructor friend Kristen to guest blog. Until next time.

    Captain Vitalyte

  • 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.

  • Stay Cool When Temps Heat Up

    There’s a new Vita Girl in town! For my first guest post for Vitalyte, I thought I’d make a confession: even though I know how good I’ll feel after my run, it is still a daily struggle to lace up. Lately, the excuse that has been popping into my brain before I get ready for my usual four-mile run is the heat. It might be easier to run outdoors when the weather is nice, but I have a hard time staying hydrated when it’s hot out. Sweaty and thirsty is definitely not the look I am going for this summer, so here are my best stay-cool tips for running in the warmer months:

    • Start early. I find that it’s easiest to hit the pavement first thing in the morning, before it gets too warm and, more importantly, before I find something else to distract myself with! Sure, checking my email in my PJs sounds nice, but checking my email freshly showered after my run is even better.

    • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Mother Nature provides the best form of hydration in mineral water and there is no need to mess with perfection. Sometimes plain water isn’t as appealing post-run as sugary sports drinks are, so choose ones without artificial colors and sweeteners.

    • I slather on sunscreen year-round, but during the warmer months I wear a hat on my runs for added sun protection. Bonus: a hat keeps my hair off my neck so if I don’t have time to wash it after my run it is in better shape.

    • I constantly update my running playlist so I never know what song is coming next. It’s much easier to finish that last half-mile when listening to one of my favorite songs! If I am adding mileage to my run, I will even tack on a few extra songs to trick myself into forgetting that my run is longer.

    So in the winter I grumble about running when it’s brisk out (my ears get cold!) and in the summer I lament about dehydration because of the warmer weather. That still doesn’t stop me from running, whether it is to relieve stress, enjoy the outdoors or make up for indulging in that extra slice of pizza (okay, maybe two extra slices) last night.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Chi Running

    If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a running enthusiast. If enthusiast is too strong a descriptor, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your time or maybe just enjoy it more. I’ve had my share of injuries. Years of gymnastics, dance and over-training will do that to you. I heard about Chi as I was searching for ways to enjoy running again. They had become painful, labored and with joint pain everywhere, I found it difficult to relax and settle into a groove.

    Ultra runner Danny Dreyer and his wife Katherine founded Chi Running in 1999. Since then it has grown into a movement. If you haven’t at least heard of it, you may have been living under a rock! So what exactly is Chi? Chi is hard to define, but has been referred to as vital force, cosmic energy and biorhythm. It is our connection to the flow of the universe and the force within the human body. Chi is not just energy, it’s what gives energy the power to be energy.

    Thanks for the lesson, Vita Girl, now what does that mean for my workout? By paying attention to your body and adopting this technique, you’ll minimize injury (at the very least) and start enjoying yourself. The key to Chi is good posture and relaxation. Form is emphasized over speed and power, as well as body alignment, arm positioning, heel strike prevention and maintaining a constant cadence.

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