Running

Fitness and Supplements

The supplement in384x324-images-stories-supplements_702_277_s_c1dustry has become inundated with ineffective supplements, with false claims of helping you reach your fitness goals, making it even harder to figure out which supplements actually work. It is vital that we do our research and consult our physicians before adding any supplement to our diets. While you gather your questions for your next doctor visit, we’ll take the hard part out… The research. Here’s a list of supplements that can actually help you reach your fitness goal.

Whey
Whey tops the list of mass-gain supplements because it’s the most crucial for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.

Green Tea
Green tea fights fat. Animals who are given the extract in studies gain less weight and burn substantially more fat than animals getting a placebo. You can drink the tea, experts ideally recommend about eight glasses a day-or go the easier route and just take a supplement. Aim for 90 milligrams three times daily.

Creatine
Creatine is perhaps the most efficient supplement if you’re doing a high-intensity activity. There are very few supplements that have the solid scientific foundation available that creatine has. Experts say that creatine is beneficial to 80% of the people who have used it. Since creatine is found naturally in meat, the more meat you eat, the less likely you’ll need creatine supplementation. However, vegans or those who rarely eat meat can get huge boosts from these supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids is the one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA, another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits. Fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride (Blood fat) levels. Having high levels of this blood fat puts you at risk for heart disease. Omega-3s also help prevent several types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancers.

Keeping our testosterone levels high when we are training is important for building muscle mass. Testosterone is the leading hormone that is largely responsible for building lean muscle mass and increasing strength. One of the best bodybuilding investments you can make is to consume all natural test boosters.

8 Tips to Maintaining Fitness in the Cold Season

The colder 8 Tips to Maintaining Fitness in the Cold Seasonseason is upon us. For some, that means their workout sessions will slow down, while for others it will come to a complete stop until next season. Don’t allow the cold to frighten you from your daily routines. Exercising in the cold can have its benefits. Sometimes the chill allows you to do a more thorough workout than you would get in the warmer weather. If you’re exercising in particularly frigid temperatures, your body will expend more energy to regulate core temperature, increasing your heart rate and boosting the number of calories you burn during a workout. While it may be a challenge, here are a few tips for getting through a winter workout:

Warm Up Wisely
Before any workout, walk around or jog in place indoors for five minutes, recommends Olympian Jeff Galloway, coauthor of A Woman’s Guide to Running. When you head out, give your body time to adjust to the conditions by taking 30-second breaks every few minutes for the first 10 minutes.

Hydrate
Even if it’s not as obvious as in the summer, you’re still sweating during cold-weather workouts and pushing yourself, so stay hydrated. Mayo Clinic suggests drinking water before, after and during your runs, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Dress Warm
Dress in removable layers, sometimes two or three. Wearing a sweater adds inches to the bar, making it harder on exercises like Front Squats to put the bar correctly. I remove my sweater during work sets, and put it back on between sets. Try also a wool hat to avoid sinus & ear infections from the cold weather.

Don’t forget your hat and gloves
Keeping hands and feet warm is key in the cold temperatures since your body will shunt blood away from extremities to keep your internal organs warm. Gloves will help prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated. That will drive blood back down to your lower extremities. About 50 percent of body heat is lost from an uncovered head when the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Wearing a hat will help your body retain heat.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia
Symptoms of hypothermia include an inability to think clearly or move easily, shivering, exhaustion, memory loss, drowsiness, fumbling hands, slurred speech, pain in the extremities, a slow and weak pulse, as well as collapse or unconsciousness.

Don’t Overdress
Wearing too many clothes during a workout can cause you to sweat more. In the winter, sweat being soaked into your clothing may leave you feeling a bit more chilled. If you notice that you are feeling colder, immediately remove an additional layer of clothes. Try to stay away from heavy cottons, as they’d promote and soak up more sweat.

Check the weather
knowing the forecast allows you to properly prep for the next workout, adjusting your wardrobe accordingly

 Plan your route
Having a set destination is important for any exercise, regardless of weather conditions. During the colder season, try on planning a route with heavily lined trees or buildings. This allows some protection against the wind. Another great practice is to be sure there is a store or cafe along the way, in case you need to step in and warm up a little.

There are some safety risks to consider when exercising in the cold. The most dangerous conditions to work out in are those that involve extremes in temperature. Cold weather exercise can lead to hypothermic symptoms. When exercising in the cold, you need to think more about your clothing and your exposure to the elements.

 

Halloween Fitness

It’s that timHalloween Fitnesse of year again, the “Fall Season” the smell of fresh leaves in the air, daylight begins to fade earlier each day and of course Halloween will be peaking around the corner. Halloween allows us to dress up as our favorite character, animal, thing, or whatever creative costume you’re able to come up with. We have fun, take pictures, laugh at each other’s costumes, and attend parties and other functions. We also spend a great deal of time walking around the neighborhood, allowing the children to knock on each door one by one, screaming, “Trick or Treat!” Are you ready for this much physical activity? We’ll help get you there.

First, if you’re not usually into fitness, you’d want to start out slow and easy. Simply walk out the door and take a walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. Do this routine every day for a week. When this becomes easy for you to maintain, add five more minutes to your walk the next week. Each week add an additional 5 minutes, until you are walking at a brisk pace for 30 mins. Be sure to keep your posture upright. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, you’re back relaxed. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.

The quicker you walk, the farther you can go and the more pounds you’ll melt off. An amazing routine you can try is, after warming up for 5 minutes, walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. I suggest using a pedometer like the Garmin Vivofit, to keep track of distance. Then turn around and walk back at a brisk pace, slowing your speed to cool down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, aim to walk faster and go farther than your initial turnaround point. Get into the habit of logging your time and pace after each workout and you will soon be surprised at what you have accomplished after a few weeks.

Another great way to get walking is shop. That’s right, go to the Mall! Several malls open early for walkers, as do some larger stores. Gather a group of friends, or go alone and make some along the way, and window shop. Check out the prices of the newest items. If your local mall has more than one level, try to refrain from taking the elevators or escalators, and opt for the stairs. Walking the mall allows you to walk in a more social environment, potentially forgetting the fact that you’re even working out. The floors are usually concrete, so you may want to wear a more cushioned shoe than you would for a treadmill. Time your walk to finish when the stores open, especially during the holiday season when the mall will fill up fast with shoppers.

Now the day has arrived, Halloween is here and the little ones are ready to go trick or treating. Even better, so are you! Keep in mind all of the calories in those little Halloween candies. We know you may want to do a quality check on your child’s bag or basket but for their sake and your calorie intake, limit your sampling.

Also, make sure your trick or treaters brush thoroughly after they have had their limit, as that’s plenty of sugar in those candies, but we’ll save that for another blog post. Have Happy, Safe, and Fit Halloween!

Does Exercise Build the Immune System?

As of September 22, 10:29 P.M we have officially said “so long to Summer,” and welcomed in the Fall Equinox. The color of the foliage will offer somDoes Exercise Build the Immune System?e of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer. Unfortunately, this season usually brings the cold and flu with it. Many people will protect themselves with the flu shot, but did you know that working out can also help to fight off the common cold? Exercise not only helps your immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, it decreases your chances of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Scientists do not really know how exercise increases your immunity to certain illnesses, but different theories are being tested. Exercising regularly improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Another theory is physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing the chance of a cold and flu, or other airborne illness. This same process may flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. Others may argue that exercise sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a quicker rate. As these antibodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly, they could detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. The increased rate of circulating blood may also trigger the release of hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding bacteria or viruses.
Be careful of exercising too much. Yes, there is such a thing as too much. “People who already exercise regularly are cautioned not to develop too vigorous a workout program in the hopes of increasing the immunity benefits. Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually decrease the amount of white blood cells circulating through the body and increase the presence of stress-related hormones,” according to an article published by Medline Plus.
Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person’s susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. According to Harvard Medical School, “While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of human immune response. No one yet knows, for example, whether an increase in cytokines is helpful or has any true effect on immune response.”
Have a little cold or the flu? Do you usually get the cold or flu like symptoms this time of year? Maybe you don’t have either, but don’t want to take any chances. Grab your Vivofit by Garmin and challenge yourself to a nice 30 minute walk, or maybe you’d like to grab yourself a Polar Loop Activity Monitor and put together a workout routine. Whatever you do, Be Active, Be Fit, Be Healthy!

Polar Loop

The Polar Loop is the very first activity tracker on the market that not only counts steps, but also has the ability to connect to Polar Heart Rate Monitors, such as the Polar H7 Heart Rate SensorPolar Loop, allowing you to track steps, calories, sleep and other activities. This removes having to guess how many calories have been burned during your workout.

Opening your package, you may notice minor alterations may be required. With the maximum circumference of the band being 9.3 inches, you may have to cut it to your size. Please carefully follow sizing instructions. The minimum circumference will be 5.7 inches. Once properly sized, no additional adjustments are required. The Loop can be paired with the iPhone via Smart Bluetooth and have access to the companion app’s dashboard. If you’re an Android user, you must remove the device and sync it with a computer using the supplied USB cable. Polar says that an Android app is due out soon. The software, called Polar FlowSync (flow.polar.com) is designed to allow you to sync your activities to the web, as well as update the firmware on the unit.

If you’re heavily into exercising then adding on the H7 Heart Rate Transmitter is great for you. This allows you to your heart into the target zone and keep it there. A good thing to point out is that “the Bluetooth Smart doesn’t allow multiple devices to connect to the HR strap at once.  This means that if you have a phone app that’s otherwise using the strap you’ll need to disconnect that app from using the strap.  The inverse is true as well if you want to use it with your phone, you’ll need to disconnect it from the Loop.” The Loop doesn’t require a given starting point or ending point.  It just knows you’re wearing a strap and records the data from it, a feature setting not seen in many other activity monitors. Now when you’re cycling or running you can get the actual calorie information from the HR Data.

We have not forgot about the swimmers either. Most activity trackers are barely even rain proof, let alone the lame IPX7 standard (which is 1 meter for 30 minutes), but the Loop is waterproofed up to 20 meters (60feet). Polar Loop has a capacitive touch button that reacts to water as well as to a human touch. The soft strap, included with the H7 Transmitter, is not machine washable. The Polar H7 transfers heart rate information while swimming with products which support 5kHz transmission.

So, what are you waiting for? Order your Polar Loop Activity Monitor and H7 Heart Rate Transmitter NOW!

The Importance of H20

Did you know that water makes up more than 50 percent of your body weight? It is one of the main components your body relies on to survive. Proper hydration allows the heart to easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It also allows the muscles to remove waste so that they can function normally. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t haThe Importance of H20ve to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport, and an American Heart Association volunteer. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to properly function.

Water comes packed with health benefits as well. Proper hydration is, by far, one of the best solutions to decreasing wrinkles. H2O also promotes stronger teeth, while the additional fluoride now added to most treatment facilities promotes extra bone density to the bones and teeth.

Because synovial fluid contains water, it is also crucial to the joints, keeping them properly hydrated.

Due to the amount of sweat lost while exercising, it’s essential that everyone, athlete or individuals should keep hydrated to help ward off the possibility of “cramping”.

Drink more to promote a healthier mind as well. The human brain is composed of 95% water, blood is 85% water, and lungs are nearly 90% water.

It is generally recommended that most people drink 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Carrying something like the Camelbak 1L Chute BPA Free Water Bottle with you as you go about your exercise regimen will help you stay hydrated. Even the elderly may have to consume more water than average. They may have a medical condition requiring more water intake.

Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water needed daily as well. Sports drinks are helpful for those exercising due to the carbohydrates that can prevent low blood sugar, but water is more than enough to keep you hydrated.

Tips on Choosing New Running Shoes

You find yourself at a crossroads –do you keep your beat up, old pair of trusted running shoes or opt for buying brand

Need help finding a new pair of running shoes? HRMUSA has some tips to keep your feet ready to run!

new ones? After you weigh the costs and realize it’s time to retire those trusty running companions, there’s a few things that you need to keep in mind.  HRMUSA has some tips on find a brand new pair of running shoes that will be just as great as the old ones.

  • Consider what kind of ground you’ll be running on the most – uneven, rocky ground or pavement. Then decide based on what you’ll be running through what kind of support you’ll need to keep your feet and ankles safe.
  • There are trail running shoes and road running shoes. Trail shoes have a bit more traction and offer more support to your arches, ankles, and the rest of your foot. Road shoes are used more for those who will be running in an urban area and have a bit more cushioning when it comes to the heel.
  • Consider what kind of ankles you have – are they weaker from years of running or are they a bit more supported? You also should know which way they roll if you were to stumble over something. This also helps you determine if you need more support on the outside or inside of the shoe.
  • If you use a shoe insert or orthotic when you’re running, bring them along with you when you go shopping. Making sure that the orthotics fit in your new running sneakers is essential; along with making sure that the shoe leaves you a comfortable amount of room with them inserted as well.
  • If you have a high or low arch in your foot, making sure you find a sneaker that accommodates that is also really important to supporting your foot. Make sure you find a sneaker that fits your arches comfortably.

Have any more tips on finding new running shoes? Leave it with us in a comment below, fellow runners!

Want to see what we have to offer when it comes to heart rate monitors for runners? Visit us today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

HRMUSA Exclusive – What’s so great about the Polar V800?

Competing in your first triathlon ever? Chances are that you’re training for this huge athletic event pretty rigorously,

Find out how the Polar V800 watch can help optimize your triathlon training.

and it being your first one – you’re wondering if you’re doing it right. You’ve read all the running blogs on how to train, but you’re still unsure of if you’re doing enough. We have a secret for you, Triathlon Newbie, and it comes in the form of a watch – the Polar V800 Triathlon watch to be exact. Take a look at why we think this cutting-edge device can help you train above and beyond!

Polar V800 Watch features:

  • It shows you where your heart rate falls within five different zones, from very light to very hard
  • It’s able to measure your heart rate in water
  • It will show you just how hard you have to work to achieve your triathlon goals, while also showing you the proper amount of time your body needs to recover
  • It also comes with immediate feedback on your work out, as well as the maximum oxygen uptake of your body, which is essential in training for a triathlon
  • The orthostatic test shows you just how much your workouts are improving your performance towards your goals, as well as helping you optimize your future workouts to reach them.
  • It shows weekly summaries, distance speed, and race pace
  • It has GPS features that allow for route guidance
  • It also has barometer features that measure things like altitude, scent, descent, temperature, and inclinometer

Want to see what else the Polar V800 has to offer you in training for your first ever triathlon? Visit us today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

Summer Weather Running Safety Tips

 

Summer Running Safety

Summer is a great time to run outdoors, with crystal clear skies and warm temperatures, it would seem that summer is the perfect season to strap on that heart rate monitor, lace up those shoes, and hit the pavement. However, the warmer the weather, the more challenging it becomes to adequately cool your body, which could wreak havoc on your running pace and body. On a hot day, the body works double time when running, so it’s crucial to follow safety guidelines to ensure you’re not putting too much stress on your body. Try these tricks for beating the heat on your summer runs:

  • Adapt! If you’re used to running in doors in an air conditioned gym, you’re going to need to adapt to running in a warmer temperature. Slow your pace when starting and allow your body to acclimate to running into the heat. Eventually, your body will gradually become better at cooling itself off in hotter weather, and you will be able to continue running at your normal and regular pace. Start with short runs, and work your way up once you feel comfortable enough.
  • What you wear is extremely important during summer runs. Choose light colored and moisture wicking running gear, as most of this gear is designed to allow moisture to pass through them and be evaporated. Always wear sunscreen and opt for a hat or visor to protect your skin and eyes from the hot sun. Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection are also highly recommended.
  • Choose cooler times during the day to fit your run in. The morning and night are the coolest times, and can you avoid intense summer heat and still allow you to fit a nice run in.
  • Hydration is important always, but especially during the summer. For normal runs and workouts that are shorter than 45 minutes, water is a perfect hydrator. However, in the summer, sports drinks are a better way to hydrate as they will replace any electrolytes that were lost during intense perspiration.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we have the accessories you’ll need to keep yourself safe and on the pavement all summer long. From hydro flask bottles to the newest and most popular heart rate monitors, we have everything to keep you going.

Spring Fat Torching Tips

Summer is around the corner, and who isn’t trying to get the perfect beach body? If you’re looking to torch fat and get ready for the warmer weather, try these spring fat torching tips and spring into weight loss action today:

  • Start walking or running! It’s no secret that we’re crazy about walking and running at HRM USA. If you’re looking to jump start your summer weight loss journey, now is the perfect time to strap on that heart rate monitor and hit the pavement! If you’re just beginning, stay mindful of your step, your rhythm, the sound, and become aware of your body.
  • Keep a journal! The best way to stay on track is to document your journey. In addition to tracking your food, you can write down motivational quotes, recipes, and other bits of motivated material you’ve learned along the way. Reading back on your progress can keep you motivated to the finish line.
  • Get outside and play in the dirt! Gardening is actually a very healthy activity that will keep you from being sedentary. Even better, gardening is a great stress reducer.
  • Fill up on the rainbow. Spring and summer bring a plethora of delicious fresh and in season foods. Be sure to load up on healthy foods in a variety of colors to help keep fat off and keep you healthy all year long.

Reaching your fitness goals doesn’t have to be impossible. It’s important to find your comfort level and keep building from there. If you want to achieve greatness, let HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com help take you there.