Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Run or Walk Safely

Whether walking or running, consideration should be given to the aspect of safety. A recent trend we see on the roads today is the use of Mp3 players or iPods as they are commonly known. These devices have pre-recorded songs that have been loaded on by their owners. I think these devices are absolutely awesome; however I also consider them to be extremely dangerous to every walker or runner who uses them during training and racing.

All of the major organizations of running and triathlon have banned the use of these devices at their races, simply because they are a danger to the athlete.

How are these devices dangerous? Simple, you have to hear to be alert. If you walking or running and cannot hear you put yourself in a lot of danger. Think about it, when you are training you are sharing the road with cars, motorbikes and trucks which are going very fast. If you are not able to hear or are not paying attention you could be hit.

Even if you are running on bike paths, you have to be cautious. Cyclists of all ages are using the paths and a simple mistake can result in injury.

If you are a person who uses an iPod then I ask you to begin practicing to not use this device. I know it’ll be hard, but try and keep it home so that you can be sure to be safe.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taking your heart rate

On our previous posts we talked about training in your heart rate zone. So perhaps the next question would be what is the best way to take your heart rate? There are several options:

1. You can take you pulse on your wrist, also referred to as your radial pulse. To do this use your index finger and feel for you pulse on the thumb side of your opposite wrist.

2. You can take your pulse on your neck, also referred to as your carotid pulse. To do this find your adam's apple and slide your fingers over to the left or right. You should be able to feel your heart beating.

3. You can purchase a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitors can range in price but are quite easy to use and a great tool for closely monitoring your heart rate as you work out.

So now you have found your pulse, what next? In order to determine your heart rate you need to count how many times your heart beats in one minute. It is best to have a watch with a second hand to do this. You can take your heart rate for a full minute or you can take it for 15 seconds and multiple it by four. If you are using a heart rate monitor you do not have to do any calculations as it gives you your heart rate real time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Injury Prevention

As older walkers and runners, injury prevention becomes of paramount importance. Why? Since we do not heal as well as our younger counterparts, coming back from an injury takes longer causing us to have to make the slow progression to full recovery just that bit longer. This can be a frustrating process that calls for patience.

So what do you need to keep in mind to try an avoid injuries? Since we are all different, and the situations we place ourselves in can cause an injury in one of us, while the other remains injury free.

I think the best thing to keep in mind is a few commonly known tips.

1. Always warm-up well before a workout.
2. Always cool down thoroughly after a workout.
3. Keep a good balance between hard, moderate and easy workouts.
4. Rotate worn equipment. If your shoes have done the miles, change them out. A good rule of thumb is to have two pairs and rotate them each day.
5. Take a rest once in a while; it will do the body a lot of good.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Product Review – Vitamin Water

I am not big on fads at all. Any type of fad or even new technology sometimes takes awhile for me to get on board.

It’s really bad, I just recently got a digital camera, do not have a MP3 player, do not have a GPS watch like a Garmin and definitely do not own an iPhone.

Just like technology fads. Fads are all over, and it either ends when some other new fad comes along or it becomes part of our culture and way of life. So how about this Vitamin Water thing that is being marketed? Will it be a fad and fade or will it last and become as useful as Gatorade? Who knows, only time will tell?

I will let you know I recently tried out some Vitamin Water. The power-c dragon fruit with c+ taurine. Dragon fruit is mostly comprised of the B vitamins, which I have always been a big fan of for instant energy. There is also a really healthy dose of vitamin C, though it’s the ascorbic acid type which is not as good as if they had used Rose Hip which is more natural. Perhaps they cannot preserve it in a liquid, or it is just too expensive.

The downside to some of the ingredients is that is does contain 13 grams of sugar, not as much as a Coke or Pepsi, but more than a diet drink. So be cautious, do not drink too many of these things, unless you are training for the Ironman.

Overall, it was definitely tasty, and I definitely felt like I did get a bounce from it. I would say from time to time, give it a try, but my opinion, over time this too will be a fad.

What do you think?
Get more information on the other flavors of Vitamin Water

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rx Running Shoes

Generally when taking care of your health, you will visit a doctor to diagnose a health issue. On some occasions as we get older, we visit our doctors for routine medical checkups. Why do we visit the doctor? Why not just go to the drug store and pick out a few drugs and take them? Wouldn’t it save us time to just go online and research our medical issue and then proceed to fix it?

Of course not, this would be ludicrous. In most instances we would probably do more harm than good?

If this is true, why then do we buy our walking and running shoes without first consulting with a professional? How many of us, visit the nearby big box retailer to get the great deal on the newest Nikes? I suppose we have to assume that we do not take our feet and legs as seriously as we do our other body parts.

I think we can agree, for the most part, we are all made just a little different from the next person. Therefore, we all may need a little help in finding a shoe that fits our height, weight, style of walking or running and distance we walk or run. A professional running store employee should be able to help us find the shoe that fits our bodies.

The benefit of having the right shoes is that we will be able to prevent some injuries that probably could have been caused by buying the wrong type of shoe. Look at it as a prescription for running shoes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Flexibility is Important

Once you begin your run/walk program you will want to maintain your flexibility. One of the best ways to do this is to stretch before and after your exercise session.

Warming up the muscle is key to getting a good stretch. Think of your muscles as elastic bands...well if you put an elastic band in the refrigerator it will not stretch well, however warm it up and it has a more elastic property. Just like that elastic band, warming up the muscle and getting some blood flow through it will help improve the flexibility of that muscle.

When you stretch you should stretch to a position of mild discomfort and then hold that position for 10-30 seconds. This should be repeated on each muscle three to four times. Also while stretching do not hold your breathe, breathe as normally as possible.

Good news, flexibility can be improved in as little a time as two sessions per week!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Registration Opens - Dublin Speedy Sneakers Training Program

Press Release

Registration for spring 2008 Speedy Sneakers Training Programs and Walk/Run Club.

If you are new to walking or running, want to get healthy and fit for summer, but have never, seldom or occassionaly kept your self in shape then this is the program for you.

Speedy Sneakers training program coaches will customize a personal walking and/or running program for you. They will motivate, encourage and support you in your pursuit of your fitness goals.

There will be three categories to register.

1. Regular Registration (Ages 17-64)

2. Ages 16 and under will be free

3. Ages 65 and older will be free

For more details visit the Dublin Ohio Speedy Sneakers

Monday, February 4, 2008

Keep Your Running Shoes Healthy

Do you keep track of how many miles you run or walk in the shoes you currently own? Do you change shoes when they fall off your feet? Do you walk around in your shoes, even if you are not running?

These are three great questions in regarding shoe health. The answers to them should be as follows;

Do you keep track of how many miles you run or walk in the shoes you currently own?
I hope the answer to this is “Yes”. Why is this important? Just like you have an expected life span, your shoes have an expected life span. By logging how many miles you put on your shoes, you will know when it is time to get another. Do not fall in love with your shoes, when its time to depart, keep them out of the rotation. Besides, you can use them to grocery shop, kind of like retirement for your shoes.

Do you only change shoes when they fall off your feet?
The right answer to this is “No”. You should change shoes ever few hundred to thousand miles, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. A great resource for this will be your local running store employee. They should know this information if they worth anything. You should also be able to research this information through the running shoe company website.

Do you walk around in your shoes, even if you are not running?
I hope you answer “No” to this question. Use your running shoes to run in, use other shoes which have reached retirement age for walking around. This way you get to keep your shoes longer and they will probably remain cleaner and fresher for an extended period of time.