Sunday, November 1, 2009
But soon after digesting my meal I discovered that one ingredient, or rather the juice it comes in, is excellent for recovery following an intense workout.
Yup, I had thrown some pickles on my main course and then shortly after I happened upon an article revealing the benefits of pickle juice as a sort of all natural Gatorade. Well who the heck knew?!?!?
Of course, this is all fine and well. There is just one major, huge flaw to this – I refuse to drink the juice. I’ve never drank it (I mean, why would I?!?!?) so I can't say for sure that it's totally gross and horrible. I'm just going to assume it is (and yes, I totally know what happens when I begin to assume things - I am doing it anyways.)
But . . . well . . . it doesn't exactly appeal to me. And for me, some things, no matter how effective, are not making it on to my to-do list.
However, I love tips. And I love things that are not man-made chemical concoctions (fake stuff is so last year). So I am sharing this.
If you are a willing participant and if you’re looking for a closer to nature alternative (because those neon colored sports beverages are way, way far from natural), you just might consider swigging some pickle juice. It is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a good electrolyte replacement (think of all the salt!). When it comes to helping the body retain fluids, sodium is where it’s at. Without enough fluids in your muscles you risk dehydration and cramps.
Let’s remember one important thing though – water is usually sufficient. I’m often amazed at how many people have their paws on a bottle of Gatorade and they’re hardly perspiring. It’s soooo unnecessary!! If you’re spending a half hour on the Stair Master, plain ole H20 will suffice. You’ll only need to break out the pickle juice (or sports beverage if you’re going that route) during longer, intense workouts – like 90 minutes or longer. Water, too, will still be the star of the show in either case. You just can't beat the plain, wet stuff.
Interesting FYI: Philadelphia Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder named natural pickle juice as key for their win over the Dallas Cowboys in 2000. Temps hit about 109 degrees that day in Texas and the briny liquid saved the day.
So, who's game for a little green juice?
Posted by Trish at 11/01/2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
And so that said, here are some tips from Olympic Triathlete Sarah Haskins:
"Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door. Once I start I am in the zone . . . oftentimes, once I get into the workout I'm OK."
(So true! There are some days I dread working out. But I just go anyways. And I usually finish feeling way better. Naturally, too, this does not always work. Sometimes, even if I start, it's just not gonna happen. That's okay though - there will always be off days. Just trying is at least an accomplishment in itself.)
"I use people and experiences as motivation. I think of great athletes like Lance Armstrong and Paula Radcliffe -- people who've been at the top time and time again."
(By reading fitness magazines or by browsing online, I'll often find plenty of inspiration. Even at the gym, or wherever you workout, there's likely to be plenty of people who are getting fit. You can easily feed off their energy to give you a boost - if they can do it, why not you too!)
"I would say to have fun with the training. That's what will keep you going, and you'll get all the health benefits from your sport."
(Fun is sooo crucial! Nothing will bust your enthusiasm faster than boredom. If you hate what you're doing, you're not going to do it. Keeping it fun can mean working out with a friend, taking a new class, adding new songs into your mix, finding a sport you enjoy etc.)
"Working my balance increases my ability to engage the small muscles in my lower legs. This is so important for injury prevention for running and other activities."
(You won't be doing much if you're injured, so prevention is key. And balance is a good thing to have, especially as you age. I know for sure that I want to be strong and vital as I get older. I want to remain independent and capable.)
Sarah’s Balance Move:
Stand on a balance pad on one foot. Tighten your abs.
Lift your leg and hold it for 10 seconds out to the front, as shown (1).
Without coming down, move your leg back, lowering your chest as close to horizontal as possible. Hold for 10 seconds (2).
Finally, lift your chest back up and move your leg to the side. Hold for 10 seconds (3). Repeat on the other leg.
Posted by Trish at 10/21/2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
There are few things better in life than chocolate.
A luscious chocolate bar, for instance, is simply wonderful. And freshly baked chocolate cookies are just beyond amazing. Way beyond.
Of course, these decadent delights come with pesky calories. Darn it!
This simply means that, while you can most certainly indulge, you just need to be sensible and not gorge yourself. Of course, that actually applies to all food. I mean, sure, oranges are fabulously good for you – but eating 20 of them at one go isn’t such a swift idea. Moderation, too, is a fab thing.
But getting back to the chocolate . . .
I recently discovered a delectable treat in the aisles of Target. I grabbed it, bought it, and headed straight for the shower. Yes, my chocolaty find and I were going to get our wet on.
Behold my find:
I adore a good scrubbing. Unfortunately, I have found it difficult to find a jar which is economical, which does the job well, and which pleases my senses. I’ve tried many. Many have failed. But this hit the mark – and it’s organic to boot.
The very best thing of all is the smell. Holy Yum! It's insane. It's heaven.
After a hot and dirty workout, this stuff so takes the cake.
Posted by Trish at 10/17/2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Behold my new toy:
This, a pedometer, is the latest addition in my never ending quest to stay motivated. Being a bit competitive, I thought this ideal. I am only competing with myself, but it’s still fun to see if I can meet the recommended 10,000 steps each day.
Let me tell you, it’s not always so easy.
Day One: I went to the park and, after a lengthy jog/walk workout, coupled with my normal daily activity, I surpassed 12,000 steps. Jackpot! Score one for me!! I believe that, being a weekend day, I had more time to fit in more steps.
Day Two: As I have a desk job, the majority of my day was spent, as you might have guessed – at my desk! It does little for boosting the number on my nifty machine. By the end of the day, when I was ready to leave job number 2, I had yet to reach the 10,000 point. I was several thousand steps short. Ahhh!! Seeing that I work in a gym, I decided to just hop on the treadmill. I walked for 30 minutes. That still didn't do it. UGH!! I only got to 6,818 total steps for the day.
Day Three – Success!! I hit 10,036 steps. What helped was a 40-minute long cardio session (Stair Master/Elliptical/Treadmill). Also, being conscious of the device, I attempted to get up and move more. I added in steps wherever I could. A little extra effort paid off.
Though it’s still early on here, I would have to say that normal daily movement will, most likely, not cut it.
I see, so far, that I have to fit in extra fitness. It’s through my workouts (cardio done at a good pace) that I am getting up to the high numbers. On day two I did lift weights at the gym, but that doesn’t involve much walking. I actually popped the pedometer off for that time frame since I thought it would only get in my way, especially during ab work. I ended up missing the mark – and I don’t feel like that bit of time would have saved the day. Even adding in that 30 minute treadmill session wasn’t enough. Maybe an hour would have done it.
And also, while the pedometer does work, it surely is helping me strive to get off my rear more than normal, I do have one complaint: it’s bulky.
Seriously, with the clip to keep it attached to my hip, it’s insanely big. It’s fine under a sweatshirt or a looser top, but throw on a tank top, like I did, and it looks as if you’ve got some weird growth. It’s annoying.
Overall, it does not work so well under clothes which are more form fitting.
Other than that, I think it’s a great motivator. It’s almost like a game, seeing how many steps you can take.
Have you ever tried a pedometer? Did it help get you moving more?
Posted by Trish at 10/07/2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
When you’re doing the same darn thing day after day you are likely, at some point, going to become insanely bored. Like, out of your mind, tear your hair out, make it stop now bored.
And when you’re bored with your workouts you’re more likely to slack off or, worse, totally quit.
I have recently been bitten by the boredom bug. BLAH! Honestly, I don’t want to look at another treadmill. And please, take those dumbbells away!!
My issue is simple – I have just been doing the same stuff for too long. It’s bad on so many levels!
Solution one: take it outside.
Apart from the occasional walk in the park, my workouts don’t really ever see the light of day (unless you count the sun coming through the gym’s windows, which I don't).
But recently, running has been everywhere in my world. Not people running on a machine, but people getting out there in the world.They were running outside. They were running races. I was intrigued.
I also kept hearing about the couch to 5k program. If you don’t know, it’s a regimen from coolrunning.com. It basically takes a non-runner and turns them into someone who can cover 3 miles. Each week you mix a bit of walking with a bit of jogging.
Hmmm . . . could I do with a change of scenery? And would a new goal, running in a race, motivate me?
The program calls for specific time intervals. You might walk for 60 seconds and then run for 90.
But how was I going to do that?
Was I going to have to wear a watch and stare at my wrist the entire time? That would be totally dumb. I was not going to do that. How silly would I look, running along with my hand smack dab in front of my face? Um, no!
Yet, how would I know when to start and stop running?
But then I found a brilliant answer: my iPod.
I really, truly don’t know how I lived before technology. Seriously.
So off I went to iTunes where I added a hot little podcast to my miracle device – Robert Ullrey’s C25k running program.
I’m on week number two right now.
I do have to admit, first and foremost, that hoofing it in the great outdoors is tougher than it is on the treadmill.
Um, hello random hills and wind!! I've also had to dodge a squirrel - the furry little monster was totally in my way and was not moving. Grrrr!!!!
And without the constantly revolving belt helping to propel me along, I’ve got to rely 100% on my muscles to push me forward.
Still, though, it all beats being stuck inside. The trees, the grass, the blue sky – Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m taking it slow – especially since I have some foot and knee issues that I must look out for. But the program is actually pretty ideal for that.
You can repeat weeks. Love, Love it!
You can even run at whatever pace you please. Too fantastic!
How did it take me so long to find this!?!?!?
Posted by Trish at 10/05/2009