Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Dangers of Overhydration

Most athletes, whether recreational or professional, are more concerned about dehydration than overhydration during the warmer months of the year.  This can be especially true when the temperature increases rapidly and humidity is high.  While dehydration is a big concern and lots and lots of water sounds like a good solution, drinking too much can create a problem.  Overhydration, clinically called hyponatremia, is a serious problem often confused with its opposite, dehydration, that also has real dangers, especially for long distance runners.overhydration

Overhydration occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low.  Sodium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate water and fluid levels both in and around your body’s cells.  When the concentration of sodium drops below normal, hyponatremia ensues, causing the body’s water levels to increase and cells to swell.  This swelling can lead to numerous health problems and can eventually result in death.  While problems and death are more commonly related to dehydration during the hot, summer months, it’s important to know the signs of overhydration and how to prevent it.

Hyponatremia or Overhydration Symptoms:overhydration

    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Lethargy
    • Fatigue
    • Seizures
    • Muscle weakness, cramps or spasms

Appetite loss

Preventing Hyponatremia or Overhydration:

 

  • Maintain consistent levels of hydration, not feeling ‘full’ of liquids.
  • Eat a banana before a workout, it will provide the potassium your body needs without any digestive issues.
  • For workouts over 60 minutes, include a sports drink with sodium and potassium.
  • Eat something salty, like pretzels, before and after a long, hot workout.
  • Steer clear of aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen before or during any workout because it can thin blood and interfere with kidney function.

Want to make sure your hydration routine is ready for the heat?  Ask Team FitNice!  Send us an email at Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.

Tasty Turkey Jalapeno Burgers

Just in time for the holiday weekend:  Tasty Turkey Jalapeno Bugers!  Team FitNice member Smitha, of Running with SD Mom, shared this delicious recipe with us to help ring in summer.  A passionate runner and the full-time working mother of 2 wonderful children, SD Mom loves good food and these Tasty Turkey Jalapeno Burgers are no exception.  A great source of inspiration, be sure to check out her blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for all things running while you grill up a batch of these good for you Turkey Jalapeno Burgers.

Tasty Turkey Jalapeno Burgers

Basics
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: 2

Ingredients
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup diced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 diced jalapeno pepper (Want it hot?  SD Mom recommends using two!)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 whole grain hamburger buns (optional)
1 cup guacamole
Shredded lettuce, tomatoes and salsa as desired, to top burger

Instructions
1)  Warm an indoor or outdoor grill to medium heat.
2)  Add turkey, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, cheese, salt and pepper to large mixing bowl and mix by hand or spoon, being careful not to overwork the meat.
3)  Form mixture into four (4) 1/2 inch thick patties.
4)  Place patties on grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
5)  Dress hamburger buns with guacamole.
6)  Serve patties on hamburger buns while warm and dress with desired toppings.  (Skip the bun to make this an even better for you meal.)

Tasty Turkey Jalapeno BurgersGive these Tasty Turkey Jalapeno Burgers a try at your next barbecue and your friends and family might not want to leave.  Add them to your meal plan all year long to keep it spicy, being sure to use fresh ingredients for better taste.

Say Yes to Post Run Stretching

Post run stretching can seem like a drag.  You’ve just finished working out, it’s time to give your body the protein and hydration it needs to recover.  But wait!  It needs stretching to recover, too.  Giving the muscles that just did hard work a chance to relax and get blood moving through them stimulates recovery because it helps bring more oxygen and muscles repairing tools to where they’re needed.

Quadriceps Stretch – Standing on one leg, bring your other heel towards your glutes, it’s OK to use a wall, railing or anything for support if you need it.  Grasp your ankle with your same side post run stretchinghand and bring your heel in toward your glutes without compressing your knee joint.  Be sure to keep your knees next to each other, you are trying to make the quadriceps muscle long, and allowing the knees to separate prevents that from happening.  Feel a stretch through the front of your thigh and hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Standing Hamstring Stretch – Standing on both feet, place one foot slightly in front of you.  Rest on your heel, with your ankle flexed gently, then bring your shoulders towards your legs with your abs engaged, hands on your hips and a slight bend in the opposite knee.  Hold for 15-20 seconds then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with your other leg.

Calf Stretch – Standing with your hands on a wall, shoulder width apart, lean forward, extending the leg to be stretched back with one foot closer to the wall.  Put the heel of your post run stretchingback foot on the ground and lean forward, into the wall, until you feel a slight stretch through the back of your lower leg.  Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.

IT Band Stretch (Figure 4) – To stretch your IT Band, begin by standing straight then crossing your right ankle just above your left knee, forming the number ‘4’ from your hips down.  Using a wall, railing or whatever is available for support, slowly sink your hips down and back into a seated position until you feel a stretch.  Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, the slowly rise, regain balance standing straight and switch sides.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – Begin in a lunge position on the ground.  With your right knee bent in front of you, and the left knee on the ground, push your hips forward until you feel a gentle pull through your hip and quad.  To get an even greater stretch, reach your arms high over your head.  Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Be sure to check out our YouTube video here for demonstrations of post run stretching.

Have questions about your post run stretching routine?  Want to mix it up?  Ask Team FitNice!  Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the box below.

Breaking Down Superfoods

It’s likely you’ve heard of the class of edible items called ‘superfoods‘.  These are whole, natural foods that are chock full of nutritional goodness and health benefits, and you don’t need to be superman, or woman, to have them.  Each of these so-called superfoods is easily found in your local grocery, ensuring you’ll have access to an adequate supply whenever you need to refill your fridge.  A great way to build a healthy diet, adding superfoods to your meals is a surefire way to make them super good for you.

It can be hard to know what’s what when it comes to these awesome edibles, but each has its own benefits, and munching on the right ones can be a huge help when reaching for nutrition or fitness goals.  Having a good-for-you diet is a major part of being fit and living a healthy lifestyle, and to help, here’s a breakdown of six of Team FitNice‘s favorite superfoods.

Beans provide a protein loaded alternative to meats, especially red meat, which is high in saturated fat.  A tasty source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, B vitamins and fiber, these legume superfoods are an important part of a healthy diet and, because they’re easy to add to almost any meal or dish, should be eaten on a regular basis.

Blueberries are not only delicious, they’re loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C.  The darker the berries are the more antioxidants they contain, so try to pick the darkest ones superfoodsyou can find.  Blueberries can also lower the risk of both heart disease and cancer, with frozen just as good as fresh.  Grab a handful, or a 1/2 cup serving, of this superfood and toss it on every salad you have.

Broccoli is loaded in vitamin C and folate, which both help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.  The fiber found in broccoli aids in digestion, and with only 30 calories in a one cup serving, it makes no difference whether you eat it raw, steam it or boil it before you dine.  To get all the benefits of broccoli, try to stay away from smothering your superfoodssalad in ranch dressing, which adds unnecessary fat content to your meal.

Chia seeds are a proud member of the superfoods family who are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and a great place to get your daily dose of fiber.  A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds contain 500% more calcium than milk.  With an appetite suppressing ability, these petite seeds give a feeling of fullness that can aid with weight-loss.

Salmon, specifically wild caught and not from a farm, tastes good cooked in the oven or on the grill and provides lots of vitamin D, which keeps bones healthy and strong.  In addition to vitamin D, wild salmon is home to tons of omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat your body needs to function.  Salmon is more than heart healthy, the omega-3s it has can promote joint health, superfoodspossibly prevent certain types of cancer and aid in proper functioning of the nervous system.

Soy is an inexpensive, vitamin and mineral rich protein that contains omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of soluble fiber and phytonutrients that are great for fighting disease.  Black soybeans are home to very few carbohydrates and take a while to digest, which, like chia seeds, leaves you feeling full, making them a great addition to any weight-loss meal plan.  Soy can also help lower bad cholesterol, but make sure it’s complete soy such as edamame or soy milk, not soy powder like is found in soy sauce.  One caution for soy: those with a family history of breast cancer should be careful not consume a lot of extra soy.

Are you hungry?  Good!  Head to the nearest supermarket to stock up on these six superfoods and take your healthy lifestyle to the next level.  Have questions about your diet?  Need a meal plan?  Ask us!  Email Info@FitNicePT today or fill out the form below.

 

Mom’s Marinara Meatballs

Mom’s Marinara Meatballs are perfect when the family’s ready for something with an Italian flavor.  This recipe makes a delicious dinner that freezes and packs well for lunch while also being hearty and filling.  Team FitNice loves it as a pre-race meal, and you just might, too.

Mom’s Marinara Meatballs

Basics
Servings: 4-5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: 2

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup Mama Mia Marinara sauce mix
2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons Marinara sauce mix

Instructions
1)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2)  Combine 1/4 cup sauce mix and diced tomatoes in large mixing bowl.
3)  In second bowl, mix milk, cheese, egg, bread crumbs and 2 Tablespoons sauce mix.
4)  Add ground beef to egg mixture and stir well, crushing tomatoes with fork as desired.
5)  Form ground beef mixture into balls (10-20, size by preference), placing them one inch apart on greased 13×9 baking pan.
6)  Cover with sauce mix and bake for 30-40 minutes, until meatballs are no longer pink in the center.
7)  Serve over whole wheat pasta.Mom's Marinara Meatballs

Give Mom’s Marinara Meatballs a try this week, and include this recipe in your monthly meal plan.  Want help with your meal plan?  Recipes?  Email Info@FitNicePT for more information or fill out the box below.