The New Year is upon us and that means the annual New Year’s Resolution. Trying to drop some pounds and getting fit and ready for more time at the beach, the pool and simply spending time outdoors. If you are looking to tone up or drop a few pounds and reach those goals you set for yourself in 2018, Splash Magazines Worldwide has put together a list of products that can kick start the process.
Beachbody, home to all of the versions of P90X, Insanity and more, has recently added Shift Shop, featuring new trainer, Chris Downing. While the Beachbody family continues to grow, to make sure you can try every single workout, they have added Shift Shop to the online group at Beachbody On Demand. Shift Shop caters to former athletes looking to reclaim a previously held level of fitness, but is also designed to benefit everyone at every fitness level. The program features easy-to-learn exercises, a basic exercise calendar, as well as a low-impact modifier for every move, helping make the commitment to living a healthy lifestyle more attainable for everyone. Half the battle to making a healthy lifestyle change stick is mental and that is where Shift Shop, featuring new trainer, Chris Downing, come into play. For more information, visit: Beachbody On Demand
For those of you looking to give a marathon a try this year or just want to get into running we have a few tips from Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Dr. Glenn Ault, who is serving once again as medical director for the Los Angeles Marathon in March 2018.
1. What are some key things people can do to prevent running injuries?
Preventing running injuries involves more than just stretching before and after your run. It involves everything from what you are eating to what you are doing on the days that you are not running. Here are a few key things that can help reduce the risk of running injuries:
– Maintain and improve your flexibility with daily stretching
– Warm up and cool down before all runs
– Cross-train to help build strength and endurance
– Periodize your training program for a gradual progression of intensity and mileage
– Include days of rest into your schedule to allow your body to recover
– Keep hydrated and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
2. How much stretching should someone do prior to a run? And what muscles should they target?
Improving and maintaining your flexibility to minimize running injuries is something that innately makes sense. However, it should be noted that in the best available scientific studies, stretching has not be associated with a statistically significant decrease in the risk of lower extremity injuries. This doesn’t mean that stretching is useless, but rather it is not the only factor in injury prevention.
Prior to and after a run, stretching is recommended for about 10-15 minutes and should include all joints and extremities. This should include your hip flexors, hip adductors, hip abductors, hamstrings, iliotibial (IT) band, quadriceps, and calf muscles. In elite runners, there is usually increased flexibility in the hips and shoulder, so these areas a good place to focus as well. In addition, if there are distinctly sore or tight muscles, these should be targeted to help with rehabilitation, as well as the prevention or recurrent of injuries to these muscles.
3. Would you recommend more dynamic warmup exercises as opposed to static stretches prior to a run?
A good warmup regimen consists of a combination of stretches as well as dynamic exercises. Static stretches helps to improve range of motion of the muscles, but running and sports also requires dynamic flexibility. Dynamic stretches are movements that mimic the way your muscles and connective tissues actually stretch during running. Performing dynamic stretches on a regular basis helps minimize the internal resistance from the muscles and joints. A combination of static and dynamic warmup exercises will help provide a gradual progression from resting to active levels by loosening and lubricating the muscles.
4. What should I look for in a good running shoe?
Running shoes are a very personal choice. Whether you buy Nike, New Balance, Asics, Brooks, Saucony, or any other brand, there are some specific things that you should look for in a running shoe. What one runner finds is his ‘go-to’ brand may be very uncomfortable to the next runner. A good shoe is one that adequately supports your foot and gait. Trying on various brands and styles of shoes will ensure that you find the one that makes you foot feel the most comfortable. In addition, while most shoes will also be lightweight, they should have some stiffness to the sole to help absorb some of the impact from your foot striking the ground. An insole may also help provide additional comfort and support for the foot. Shoes should generally be replaced approximately every 500 miles to ensure continued structural integrity of the shoe and support to your foot and ankle.
5. What should I do to safely recover after a long run?
• Hydrate for the first 10-15 minutes after finishing. Gatorade or alternative beverages with electrolytes are recommended.
• Stretch for 10-15 minutes, focusing on the major muscle groups (hips, quads, hamstrings, calves) as well as any specific muscle groups that are tight or sore.
• Replenish carbohydrates and protein with a small meal (like a protein bar) to help rebuild muscles and refuel the body.
• An ice or cold water bath for 10-15 minutes will help to constrict the blood vessels in the legs which decreases metabolic activity and reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. This will help to ease inflammation and reduce muscle soreness.
• Be sure to incorporate a well-balanced meal as well as time for rest and sleep.
• Days before and after a long run should include either an easier run, cross-training, strength conditioning, or even total rest. An appropriate training regimen is integral to preventing injuries.
6. What are the most common running injuries and how should I prevent them?
• Plantar fasciitis & Achilles tendinitis – this is pain in the heel that is typically the result of a sudden increase in activity. Gradually increasing your activity, stretching, as well as wearing the right shoes will help to reduce the risk of this injury.
• Stress fractures – there are tiny cracks in the bone caused by repeated impact. It is usually associated with a sudden increase in activity or mileage. Acute pain in the foot should not be ignored — a stress fracture might require a break in training or, in some cases, even surgery. Proper footwear, nutrition (including plenty of calcium and vitamin D), and cross-training can help to reduce the risk of stress fracture.
• Ankle sprains – these occur when the ankle rolls, either inward or outward, resulting in ankle pain and instability. Usually, this involves a curb, pothole, or uneven surfaces. Depending on the severity of the injury, rest is recommended until the pain and swelling subside. A brace and physical therapy may be needed in more severe cases. Supportive footwear and knowlege of potential terrain difficulties may help to reduce the risk.
• Shin splints – stabbing sensations to your shins that occur as a result of the muscles and tendons covering the tibia becoming inflamed. Ice, elevation, and anti-inflammatories may help to reduce the pain. A few things that may help to prevent shin splints include placing insoles to your shoes, in addition to running on softer ground and avoiding hills if possible. Gradually increasing the difficulty of your training program may also be helpful to reduce the risk of this injury.
• Muscle strain/tear – this most commonly involves the calf and hamstrings in runners. A few causes involve overuse and inflexibility. A proper warm-up and cool-down, as well as proper running technique can help prevent a pull of the muscle.
• Blisters – these can pop up anywhere along the foot and toes, usually in places where the foot rubs against the shoe. The best way to prevent this is to make sure your shoes fit well and that you wear a good pair of socks. If a blister does appear, moleskin is a good way to protect it from getting worse.
7. Are there certain foods or supplements that can help prevent injuries?
A balanced, healthy diet is important to establishing a foundation for you to build you strength and endurance. Be mindful that you need to eat enough calories and nutrients to support your activity level.
With regards to injury prevention, there are a few supplements that can be helpful.
• Iron – it is important for the formation of red blood cells, which is essential for endurance. Iron deficiency may result in persistent fatigue, which can make a runner more prone to injury.
• Vitamin D & Calcium – these are important for bone health. Appropriate intake of vitamin D and calcium is important to maintain the strength of the bones, which will reduce the risk of stress fractures.
• Fish Oil/Omega 3s – these are a natural anti-inflammatory supplement that may be helpful to not only improve strength and physical performance, but also to reduce muscle soreness and damage.
Health and fitness has no bigger component than water. But all water is not created equal, and that is why drinking Essentia can truly make a difference when it comes to hydration. Essentia offers more than just your typical water. It uses a proprietary ionization process that results in an alkaline water with a pH of 9.5 or higher, which means it hydrates better than other water, as shown in a clinical trial against a leading bottled water. The study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, measured how well a leading bottled water and Essentia Water rehydrated after moderate aerobic exercise.
Simple dehydration can impact how you feel from your joints to your muscles, whether you exercise or not. It can impact your sleep, overall health and energy level. You’ll notice a difference when you’re hydrated or not.
With each bottle of Essentia, not only do you enjoy the benefits of its ionization process, but you also get water that is infused with trace amounts of essential minerals. What that does is it emulates the naturally occurring minerals in your body. In terms of purity, Essentia water has taken that part of the process to the highest level through its process of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light exposure that creates water that is 99.9% pure. Essentia clearly sets itself apart from all other bottled water.
Comfortable clothing are important to your workout and it certainly doesn’t hurt if it is stylish as well. Under Armour took care of both with the recently launched “Lindsey Vonn Signature Collection”, a collection designed and created in collaboration with the World Champion alpine skier. The collection officially launched in Lake Louise, Canada – a place nicknamed Lake Lindsey due to the success she has consistently seen on this course: 14 downhill victories and 4 super-G wins. The elevated resort collection pays homage to Lindsey’s Unlike Any career and features Lindsey’s personal touches throughout the collection – the custom LV Logo displayed on her collection is taken directly from her signature; each item honors a milestone in her historic athletic career, and the lining of the jackets feature a custom print that showcases her accomplishments. The Lindsey Vonn Signature Collection is just one way Under Armour is rallying behind the World Champion Alpine Skier ahead of the Olympics in Pyeonchang this coming February. Pieces of the Lindsey Vonn Signature Collection will be available in January 2018, with presale that began November 30th, 2017 on UA.com. The full collection will be available for purchase in Fall / Winter 2018. Another great gift is the UA Team Charged Bandit 3 running shoes that come in Wisconsin, UCLA and other Under Armour licensed schools. For more information, visit: Bandit 3
Watching what you eat is just as important as exercise, but that doesn’t mean you have limit yourself to water, carrots and protein shakes. Splash Magazines has put together some tasty and healthy products that will allow you to still enjoy what you eat while working towards your fitness goals.
Quest Nutrition seems to be coming out with new products and new flavors so often that it is almost shocking it took so long for them to release their “BIRTHDAY CAKE” flavor. With everything that Quest does, they make sure that they get it right before they release it and they did just that with this new flavor. You really do get a true birthday cake experience, frosting included, to go along with 20-21 grams of protein, fiber, no extra carbs and no added sugar along with being gluten and soy free. While the birthday cake flavor is amazing, you can’t go wrong with any flavor bar, protein powder or chips as a great way to satisfy your cravings. Also be on the lookout for the recently released Quest cookies. For more information, visit: Quest
One of our favorite new drinks is not your typical sports drink, it is a variety of teas from AthleTea. This new line of small-batch specialty tea offers athletes a new way to enhance performance. AthleTea is available in three delicious flavors designed to hydrate and aid athletes. Orange ManGo For It Performance Hydration Plus, Get Your Passion Berry Performance Hydration, and Go To Goji Recovery Hydration. Each AthleTea has been thoughtfully blended with selected ingredients to support hydration, energy, focus, readiness, relaxation, and recovery. Studies show that drinking tea supports physical activity through its preventive functions as well as giving athletes more sustained energy for workouts and a faster recovery process to go along with some tasty flavors. For more information, visit: AthleTea
Who can turn down a piping hot flapjack? Well if fitness is your goal you are likely to pass in the past, but now you don’t have to with the paleo alternative pancake, Birch Benders. Birch Benders has come up with a solution for you with an incredibly delicious, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free, just-add-water Paleo Mix. Birch Benders’ took over 99 recipes to find the perfect combination of grain-free flours. The mixes contain naturally better, minimal ingredients such as a unique blend of cassava, coconut, and almond flours, and no added sugar, resulting in less than one gram of sugar per serving! The Paleo Mix also boasts six grams of protein and five grams of fiber to keep you satisfied for hours. In addition to the brand’s specialty Paleo mix, they just released an all new Pumpkin Spice Paleo, making for a perfect holiday season breakfast. Birch Benders also offers a variety of other gourmet and functional mixes including Peanut Butter Protein, Gluten Free, and vegan options. For more information, visit: Birch Benders
Chips are usually a no-no as you are trying to get yourself in shape, but that has changed with the introduction of i won! organics, a high protein, organic, plant-based chip. Recently i won! reformulated their original five flavors including Cinnamon French Toast, Sriracha, Sea Salt, BBQ and Ranch and the new formula is fantastic. You get everything you would want in a chip and each flavor gives you exactly what you would expect. i won! is the snack you want to reach for when you are looking for a healthy alternative to they typical snack that you will usually regret eating later. For more information, visit: i won!