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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Types Of Runners: Waddler, Shuffler, Dinosaur, Gazelle & Shi-Shi Runners

    Everyone runs differently. The goal is to relax, fall into a rhythm and finish the race in a respectable amount of time. Right? For some participants, yes. For others, not so much. I realized this during the last race I ran. It was a long one, so I had time to make some observations. And let me tell you, you can tell a lot about a runner’s motivations by their stride.

    The Waddler: Is this person even moving? This one is the easiest to spot. There isn’t much else to say. You know exactly who I mean.

    The Shuffler: Similar to The Waddler, except they can make an impressive headway. So why the shuffle? Maybe they’re injured and have adopted this stride to minimize the impact. Maybe they don’t like the idea of having only one foot at the road at a time. Or maybe they really, really enjoy tap dancing! Who knows. All I know is this type of form reminds me of someone walking over hot coals: shoulders up and tight, bottom clinched, feet working out a little soft-shoe action. They just don’t look comfortable.

    The Dinosaur & The Paddler: Like a T-Rex with its short arms hanging limply in front as it forges through the forest, The Dinosaur is on a mission. Usually a fast-moving breed, they could improve their time if they only worked their arms into the race. I considered naming this type of runner, The Paddler, then realized it deserved a separate, yet related category. The Paddler is what The Dinosaur wants to be. The Paddler may let his arms hang down, but unlike The Dinosaur, he slaps at the air and pulls it behind him. The Dinosaur gets dusted by The Paddler, left alone and wishing evolution was a speedier process.

    The Gazelle: The most beautiful runner on the street. Carefree. They lope through the course with the boundless energy of any number of forest animals, but only the gazelle shares this runner’s grace. I’ve often wondered if they were taught this form, because you tend to see packs of The Gazelle at cross-country track meets. But after years of trying to mimic this stride and failing miserably, I now believe they were born this way.

    Like a UFO blasting into space, The Gazelle appears as a flash in the corner of your eye and then is gone. The next time you’ll see him, he’ll coolly be sipping Vitalyte and downing a banana as you cross the finish line.

    The Shi-Shi: There’s a whole lot of prissiness going on here. Usually dressed to the 9s. They look like they know what they’re doing but are too concerned about perspiration ruining their outfit to really go for it. Their stride usually has some lateral motion, some wicked hip swagger and possibly some chest protrusion. The Shi-Shi/Dinosaur hybrid is fairly common. I’ve seen many. Next to The Gazelle, they are the prettiest runners, albeit for totally different reasons.

  • How to Make Exercise Fun

    OK, Vita Girl, I’ve got the shoes, I know the yoga poses, now how do I make working out fun?

    Many of us feel about exercise the way we felt about eating Brussels sprouts as a kid— an unsavory thing we have to do to get something we want. Back then, that something was probably dessert or pleasing our parents. Now, it’s looking and feeling good! But sometimes, against our best efforts, our exercise routines become downright uninspired. Boring. The boogey monster separating us from the couch and cocktail at the end of a long day.

    Like eating Brussels sprouts, much of the dread associated with exercise can be traced to adolescence. If you ever played sports, you were probably made to run as punishment (a missed shot, poorly executed routine, etc). An unlucky (and forever scarred) few of us, were also forced to weigh in for events. Those memories are ingrained, no matter how we try to convince ourselves we’ve moved past them.

    When I think of workout fun, I sometimes think of an old episode of Friends— the one where Phoebe and Rachel decide to run together in Central Park. Much to Rachel’s horror, Phoebe takes off sprinting with a type of form never before witnessed in the running community: legs kicking awkwardly, arms flailing, head bobbing side to side. At first, Rachel chastises Phoebe and refuses to run alongside her. Then she realizes how much fun it is and decides to adopt it.

    I’m not saying you should act like a goof and alienate members of your running club. I am saying you should channel your inner Phoebe! It doesn’t have to be all serious and VO2 max all the time either. If you’re focusing on calories burned, counting down the time left on your run, or worrying if you look funny doing an exercise, you’re tossing the fun factor out the window and should switch up your routine.

  • 5 Ways to Get Off Your Hide and Find Your Stride

    I’ve given a lot of attention to running in the past blogs. The reason for it is simple: 1) I love an excuse to get outside, listen to music and be alone with my thoughts; and 2) It gives me a high that’s comparable to eating a box of caramel turtle chocolates (minus the calories). But running isn’t for everyone. Some just don’t find it enjoyable. Others physically can’t because the impact aggravates join pain and old injuries. So what do you do if you want to get active, but aren’t sure how to get back in shape?  Here are 5 tips:

    1) It isn’t forever. Think of exercise as a date, a date who needs to impress you. While sticking to a regime is beneficial, it doesn’t mean you just have to do one thing. Also, the benefits of switching it up are well documented and keep you from plateauing. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find something you want to do day in and day out, your perfect heart-pounding exercise match, the yin to your yang. Until then, let them court you. Don’t settle. Don’t get stuck.

    2) Make it fun. Think back to when you were a kid. Running around outside, throwing the Frisbee, splashing in the pool, rolling down hills. You did those things because you thought they were fun. Remember? Hopping on your bike and riding to your friend’s house was an adventure. Right? So what’s stopping you from making it fun now?

    3) Go it alone or make it social. There are pros and cons to each. A partner will push you. Or they’ll show up and reinforce your I-don’t-feel-up-to-it-today attitude. Ask yourself how you’ll benefit with a partner. Do you mind letting someone see you sweat? Will you be more self-conscious with or without one? Sometimes distraction is good (Wow, did I really just run 5 miles while watching that tv show on the t.v. at the gym?), and sometimes it’s counterproductive (Gee, you’ve been talking my ear off the last hour and a half and I haven’t even broken a sweat.). The decision is yours.

    4) Make a game of it. Set small goals and document your progress. So what if you can only handle the treadclimber 15 minutes your first time out of the gate?  Or huff and puff the whole way through your first Body Pump class?  This will change. And you’re going to start feeling like a rockstar as your endurance improves.

    5) Reward yourself. This is really, really important. Been eyeing that super snazzy pair of running shoes? Been dreaming of a big bowl of clam linguine all week? By allowing yourself an occasional indulgence, you’re more likely to feel good about working out-- Like it’s less of a chore and more of an excuse to pamper yourself. And when it comes down to it, what could be more indulgent than the gift of health?

  • Yoga For Athletes - The Runners Lunge

    Hello again Vitalyte friends! So last week, I gave you some reasons why we should all partake in a little yoga in our lives, especially you athletes out there. Let's dive in and discuss the first of a few great poses you should be doing in yoga right now to help make yourself ready to workout. Introducing.... The Runner's Lunge Alright so with this pose begin in a standing position in which your feet are spaced hip's width apart. Move you right foot forward into a lunge, with your right knee bent and your left heel raised. Square your hips to the front of the room, drop your back knee to the ground and toe-heel your front foot to the side so that your right toes face at a 45 degree angle toward the front of the room. Either stay on your hands or drop your body by sinking into your hips so that your forearms rest on the ground at a 90 degree angle. Depending on how flexible you are, you can go farther. The point is to stretch your body as far as is comfortable towards the ground. After holding for a good 20 seconds, return to downward dog. Then kick your left leg back and bring it through into a left leg lunge. Repeat the above steps and you have now learned the runners lunge!

    No, why do I love this pose so much? This pose increases the strength of your hamstrings, quads and legs, it stretches your hips and glutes, provides instant energy and relaxation and relieves tension, anxiety and depression by calming the mind and bringing body awareness. This pose is so great for improving the strength of your legs and their muscles. Runners love this pose because it helps to increase running speed and endurance.

    Have I sold you yet? Seriously though, try this pose out. you will find that it will help you achieve so much more during your runs and just make you feel better overall.

    More poses to come so stick around...

  • Yoga and Running - Best Friends Forever

    Hello fellow Vitalyte fans! Let's talk about one of my favorite things - yoga and more specifically, yoga for runners - because it's something that all of you athletes out there should really start incorporating into your workout routines.

    One thing that's true about runners is that there is always a ton of wear and tear on their bodies. The constant pounding on pavement, or trail, messes with their knees, hamstrings and feet. The force of impact on each foot is about three to four times your weight, so it's honestly no wonder why so many of you are in pain. But that pain that you feel is not from the running itself, rather it's from imbalances that running causes and exacerbates.

    Fear not runner friends, you don't have to be in pain and you don't have to stop running either. You just need to add a little yoga to your life. Do so and you will be happier than a kid on Christmas morning...

    The wonderful thing about yoga is that it's goal centers around achieving internal focus and understanding one's body. As a runner, you can use yoga to balance strength, increase your range of motion and to train your body and mind. Breathing exercises in yoga will can teach you how to coordinate your breath with each movement you make. Breath awareness is also the key to reducing tension - an athlete's main handicap.

    Yoga can also help you improve your VO2 Max. Runners with a high VO2 Max have the capacity to pump large amounts of oxygen-rich blood to working muscles. Pranayama and asana conditioning helps to maximize the size of your pump and the quantity of fresh blood coursing through your body.

    Now, pain. The athlete's worst enemy. Even the most well-balanced, relaxed runners can face injury. And when one body part is off, it affects the entire rest of the body. Yoga postures can get rid of pain in any part of your body and bring that balance back to it. If you can start incorporating some yoga postures into the warm-up and cool-down portions of your workout, you will begin to see much better results.

    Stay tuned friends... in the next week, I will start introducing some great yoga poses to eliminate common athlete pains.

  • Stay Limber My Friends...

    Stretch stretch stretch! If there's one thing any athlete knows it's that stretching is just as important to a workout routine, as the working out itself. Stretching allows your muscles to stay loose and prevents injuries or strains. It also helps you keep your form while exercising, which will allow you to work out longer and acheive a lot more. I grew up as a gymnast so I definitely know all the benefits of stretching, and all the ramifications if you don't. There are definitely some things to keep in mind while stretching...

    First of all, warm up those muscles first. You need to move around a bit. I don't mean go run a marathon, but get your body warmed up. This will allow your muscles to stretch farther and keep them from tensing up.

    Now, here are the main places you should always be focusing on when stretching...

    Arms - Standing upright, reach one arm across your body and hold with the other, getting as much stretch there as you can and then switch. Stick one arm up in the air and bend at the elbow. With the other hand, reach for the hand that is hanging down and pull. Then, switch arms.

    Hamstrings - This stretch is something you could probably benefit from doing everyday. Standing upright, bend over and simply reach for your toes. Try as best as you can to keep your legs straight, but don't lock your knees.

    Quads - You may need to find something for balance with this one. Stand on one leg, bend the other leg back and hold at the ankle. Then, switch legs.

    Calves - Get into a push up position and now, sticking your rear into the air, begin stretching your calves one at a time.

    Groin stretch - In a sitting position, place the soles of your feet together so that they are touching and stick your knees out to the sides. It may be hard at first to get your knees to go closer to the ground, but it will get easier with time.

    Hip & lower back - Now that you're already on the ground, stretch one leg out and leave the other bent with your ankle resting on the ground. Reach out towards the foot of the stretched leg. You should feel a good stretch here. Now, switch legs and repeat.

    There are many other stretches you could do, if you feel up to it. Heck, it amazes me to think about how flexible I was when I was a gymnast. And yes, I would love to get back into that shape. But for now, these are the basic stretches you should be doing before working out. Make sure to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds before moving on. And as always, stay hydrated while stretching and throughout your workout to keep your muscles from cramping up. I have to throw in the customary "use Vitalyte" here, just because when it comes to a great product for keeping your muscles quenched, Vitalyte is it.

    Until next time friends... Happy exercising.

  • The Gymnast Diet

    Hello everyone, so you may have noticed that I am new to the Vitalyte blogosphere. Let me tell you a little about myself. I am in my late twenties, an avid outdoor lover, and a huge Vitalyte fanatic. Back in the day, I was a pretty extreme gymnast. No, we're not talking Olympic level or anything, but I did practice for almost 10 years and competed regularly for a pretty decent chunk of that time.

    When I was six, my mom noticed me attempting to do back handsprings out in our front yard and, knowing my tendency to never quit, realized she had to do something about it. So, she enrolled me in gymnastics. And there I spent most of my late childhood. It got to the point where I was at practice four days a week for four hours, in addition to competitions nearly every other weekend. The constant working out, meant I had to stay well hydrated and well fed. If only I had known about Vitalyte back then, it probably would have helped.

    Needless to say, my diet was great. Something that I have let slip as I grew older and quit the sport. But I think we can all learn something from the diets of gymnasts. As well as any other athlete out there.

    Let's think about the basics. What's the most important thing an athlete needs? Energy. Yes, without it, not much would get accomplished. And where do we get energy? From the food we eat. What foods in particular? The answer is simple - proteins. Proteins provide long-lasting energy that doesn't weigh you down and doesn't wear off quickly. And the key is to eat small amounts, but often, so that you never fill up. I know I never could have pulled off a double-twist layout on an overly full stomach. Small, protein-rich meals are key. Egg whites for breakfast, perhaps with a slice of whole wheat toast and some fresh fruit. A small piece of chicken for lunch. Salmon for dinner. All of these are great keys for keeping your energy high and your body fit. And don't forget to pack some healthy snacks. I used to munch on almonds all the time to keep me going. Almonds are high in protein and heart-friendly.

    Basically, it's what we've been told for years. Eat lean, healthy meats and fish high in fatty Omega-3 acids, leafy green vegetables, whole wheats, some fresh fruit, and eggs. It still amazes me though that people keep trying all these crazy diet fads and supplements, when all they have to do is eat naturally. Eat what mother nature has provided for us and do it in moderation. Stay away from the overly-manufactured stuff. Shop the perimeters at grocery stores. It's how I ate as a very athletic kid and it paid off. I want that energy back. It's time to start eating that way again.

    Talk soon Vitalyte friends....

  • The Tri-Phase Affair, Part 3

    So recently, I have been talking about Vitalyte’s new product – Tri-Phase Endurance. An awesome new addition to the Vitalyte team of products, Tri-Phase Endurance is formulated to provide sustained energy and focus, fight free radicals, replenish electrolytes and accelerate recovery. Since I am an out-of-shape, ex-runner who wants to get her endurance groove back, I am totally stoked about this product. It’s called Tri-Phase, because it’s a three stage drink. I’ve already discussed the first two stages, which just to remind you, have made me fall head over heels for the product. Stage one gives you mental focus and sustained energy. Stage two provides increased endurance and decreased muscle fatigue. That brings us now to stage three….

    Stage three is all the stuff that has made Vitalyte famous – electrolyte replacement and advanced muscle repair. The advanced electrolyte blend is the same high-performance mix Vitalyte is known for. Electrolytes are needed to keep your neurotransmitters firing and reach your maximum performance potential. Yes, for my sad, can-only-run-a-mile body, that’s exactly what I need. It is also known that extreme exercise increases free radical damage in your body. What you need to combat this are antioxidants. Tri-Phase Endurance contains Selenium, which boosts Glatathione, the “master anitoxidant” and one of the most powerful free radical scavengers available to your body.

    What’s awesome is that you take Tri-Phase Endurance 30 minutes prior to a workout or competition and after that, you are set. I’m not that worried anymore about pushing myself through those miles. I’ve got my best wingman here to help. Thank you Vitalyte. You rock my world.

  • Introducing...Vitalyte Tri-Phase Endurance!!

    We at Vitalyte have been actively engaged in keeping you healthy, nourished and hydrated now for a long time and we are proud to announce our first new product since Vitalyte began 40 years ago! Vitalyte Tri-Phase Endurance is formulated for maximum effectiveness for serious athletes. All of the ingredients, flavors, colors and sweeteners are 100% natural. This ground-breaking, healthy sports drink is formulated to provide sustained energy, cognitive focus, stimulate recovery, fight free radicals, and replenish and re-balance the electrolytes you lose in extreme athletics.

    Vitalyte Tri-Phase Endurance is a refreshing sports drink that uses a combination of Vitamins B6 and B12 for sustained energy and mental focus. Natural Crystalline Fructose and Maltodextrin are fast-acting carbohydrates that provide immediate energy, while Palatinose™, a patented endurance carbohydrate, provides sustained energy to get you through the last mile.

    This amazing sports drink also contains Branched Chain Amino Acids and CarnoSyn™ Beta-Alanine, which provide muscles with needed amino acids, help speed recovery and buffer lactic acid. The advanced electrolyte blend is the same high-performance mix Vitalyte is known for and these electrolytes are needed to keep your neurotransmitters firing and reach your maximum performance potential. Lastly it’s important to know that extreme exercise increases free radical damage in your body. Vitalyte Tri-Phase Endurance contains Selenium to boost Glutathione, the “master antioxidant” and one of the most powerful free radical fighters in your body.

    An amazing new sports nutrition drink, Vitalyte Tri-Phase Endurance is the complete performance product for the modern athlete. It's the best product of its kind on the market right now. You will love it, we're sure of it.

  • Apps That Get You Into Shape

    So I am totally stoked about finally jumping on the bandwagon and getting an iPhone. But even more so, I am excited about all the awesome things I can do with it. I have been talking a lot lately about wanting to get myself back in shape and eating healthier. Well guess what? There’s an app for that. In fact, there are a number of apps for that. And here are my top faves so far…

    StepTrackLite – Sounds cool right? This app works as a simple pedometer to measure and track physical activity while strolling, walking or running. You can carry the phone in your pocket, wear it on your belt or even in your backpack.

    iMapMyRun – This handy app utilizes the iPhone’s GPS technology to track real-time distance, time, pace and speed. You can even post your results direct to Twitter to share with friends and, once you sign up you can save your runs, bike rides and walks to a training log with maps for future reference.

    Lose It! – This awesome weight management app allows the user to set goals, create a daily calorie budget, record food and exercise, and view graphs of progress. After entering your stats you can create a custom plan based on how much weight you want to lose in one week.

    Calorie Tracker – One last little cool app I might try out, this one, provided by LIVESTRONG.COM, allows users to look up and track daily caloric, fat, carbohydrate and protein intake. LIVESTRONG.COM has a nutritional database with over 450,000 food and restaurant items and the app pulls information from there.

    Using these apps and drinking my trusty weight loss nutrition drink Vitalyte, I am hoping my New Year’s fitness goals will actually be achieved this year.

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