Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quick Legs

Percentage wise your legs make up the biggest muscle group in your body. They are also the easiest to workout multiple groups at once. In addition to my previous Leg Press gym workout here are 4 Super Quick at home leg exercises to Quick Start your day... hehe

  • 30 Squats - Finish on your toes to work your calves
  • 80 Mountain Climbers - Make sure to wear shoes
  • 40 Sec of Wall Sits - Arms making tiny circles

The whole routine takes only 4 or 5 minutes with minimal rest in between but its a great way to get your heart rate up to High Intensity Training levels!! Your body will also continue to burn calories well after the workout to fuel and repair the exhausted leg muscles. Add weight for extra resistance... Do it twice for a prolonged cardiovascular workout while training you muscles!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Healthy Salt

First off I want to make it clear that Salt is Essential. It is a key ingredient to a Healthy Metabolism and maintains balance in your body. As you exercise your body emits salt through sweat and it is highly recommended to replenish before your blood-sodium level drops hence why gatorade has fairly high sodium levels.

Recommended levels of sodium is Less Than 2300mg per day for an average young adult even though the national average is around 3400mg. A Big Mac has 1020mg alone.

Too much salt can cause an array of Health Problems!! Everything from Hypertension & High Blood Pressure to Osteoporosis & Stomach Cancer. The biggest offenders for high sodium foods are the processed foods, canned soups, fast foods and so many more

White table salt essentially is nothing but sodium chloride mixed with Iodine which is added to support the Thyroid Gland. It is normally chemically processed and bleached which can make it Toxic! But worst of all... its Addictive!!

THP Fit Tip #7: Avoid Processed Food & Use Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt When Cooking!!

This naturally occurring salt has been mined from the Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan for last 700 years and contains 84 Minerals including Iron, Copper, Fluoride, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium and of course Iodine!! In addition this Magic Salt helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels, Regulates Blood Pressure, Prevents Cellulite and Reduces Risk of Dehydration compared to Table Salt.

I think the taste is much better too... 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fit Running Tips

Distance Running for me is not only good exercise but a great time to reflect... Part of me wishes I've been running for years; the other believes I've fallen upon this whole fitness thing now for a reason. 

Either way here are a bunch of tips I that would of helped me get started to train for a race. In Simple Bullet Points... Close the Gap!!
  • Training: Choose a plan that fits your schedule, rushing home from work is a chore and will make the whole experience less enjoyable...
  • Eating: Magnesium helps prevent cramping but Fiber causes it... What to do about those delicious leafy greens?? Still working on this one but my suggestion is to eat light, eat simple. 
  • Drinking: Hydrate well the night before but minimal before the race. Once you get thirsty while running go to town on the liquids but don't overdue the gatorade, could cause cramps.
  • Snacking: Dried Apricots & Almonds...
  • Stretching: Don't forget your calves!! They tighten quick and don't let go.
  • Listening: Live Music; feels like everyone is cheering you on!!
  • Pacing: The right pace can last forever. Find it and stick to it, over exhaustion can lead to a miserable race. If you set you standards low there is only room for improvement!!
  • Starting: Don't peak too soon; start slow & finish strong!!
  • Breathing: I generally try to breathe normal when racing but for all the multitaskers out there deep breathes from the Belly increases the oxygen flow and reduces cramping.
  • Thinking: Mind over matter. Your first long race I can promise you at some point you'll question your decision making process. I can also promise you'll be glad you did after you cross that finish line so just maintain those positive thoughts and push through!! 
  • Finishing: Close the Gap!! That last 8th of the race make it a goal to slowly close the gap with person in front of you. Next thing you know you'll have some groupies on your coattail!!
  • Celebrating: Have a nice protein filled meal... You'll have deserved it!! 
That's assuming you can walk... Just kidding! Hope you learned from my mistakes!! Check out more great tips from ChiRunning...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Close The Gap: A Beginners Guide to Running

Three years ago I never ran; not because I didn't have time or enjoy it but I preferred to work out by lifting in the gym. I really didn’t understand the benefits to cardio. Three years ago I also met my now girlfriend whose main method of exercise is running... so in an effort to find more activities we could do together I reluctantly started running, three years later we just ran our first Half Marathon!! 

Close the Gap is beginners guide to running but also a play on word for anyone wishing to get closer to achieving their health and fitness goals which is a developing concept. I'll just focus on the running aspect in this post mainly preparing for 5k races to marathons in a few simple concepts. 

Pace: Anyone can walk a mile, most can run a mile but the thought of completing a marathon is extremely intimidating for the vast majority. For these people I promise You Can Do It!! The key is to find the Pace between walking and sprinting that you are comfortable to maintain the desired distance.  Most people I talk to get exhausted early in the race...

THP Fit Tip #5: Don't peak too soon; start slow and finish strong!!

There are tons of tips on setting your pace, my recommendation is to take your mile time and add 25% for the average mile time ie if you are comfortable running an 8 minute mile your target average mile should be around 10 minutes. Most longer races have pace setters to follow otherwise running watches and even the new ipod nano can track your pace. 

Training: If you can run a mile you can run a marathon!! Now I can't promise you won't be super sore the next day if your muscles aren't use to long distances, even if you stretch.  Hundreds of training models exist so pick one that suits your schedule. The more training the better!!

Breathing: My suggestion is to relax do what comes natural however deep breaths, through your mouth, pushing out your belly, and standing upright will maximize oxygen intake.

Stride: For some reason I tend to get close to the front when running on treadmills but if I step back and lengthen my strides I go faster with less energy. Same rules apply for races; use your calves and push off your back leg. I see a gap and want to close it!!

Food: First off simple foods for you body to break down like whole grain pasta, fruits and vegetables low in fiber, as fiber can cause cramps, should only be consumed within 12 hours of the race. Prior to that avoid fatty or processed food and make sure to drink plenty of water!!

I had a pasta dinner with tomato sauce, chicken, and asparagus prior to the race; I estimate the meal was about 800 Calories, this will vary pending on your Metabolic Rate. For breakfast I had a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter only. 

Most important point of all is to believe in yourself and have fun! Cause what's the point otherwise? Bright colors, headbands and high fives are highly encouraged!!