Monthly Archives: November 2014

Six Tips to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there are plenty more holidays right on the heels of that.  Maintaining your fitness routine and healthy eating habits can certainly be challenging at this time of year with parties, treats and wine at every turn.  No matter what your plans are before you ring in the new year, here are six tips from Team FitNice to help you stay healthy over the holidays.

1.  Carry and use disinfecting wipes or a hand sanitizer if you’re going to be touching things like railings, restroom doors, airplane tray tables, elevator buttons and shopping carts.  Germs can spread easily during the holidays and keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to avoid healthy over the holidayscatching a cold.

2.  Pack healthy snacks and bring a healthy dish.  Having a granola bar handy and bringing a crudities tray rather than a cookie platter will help not only you but the party’s other guests maintain a healthy diet during these challenging months.

3.  Make a plan.  Schedule time to work out, especially if you have family in town or are going to see some.  A flag football game is a great way to get everyone moving and a brisk morning walk is the perfect time for a warm mug of coffee and some quality time with loved ones.  If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find a nearby 5k or ugly sweater run for a little friendly family competition.

4.  Add fitness to holiday activities.  Do ten squats for every present wrapped, five push-ups when the bow is on and two burpees when it’s all ready to go.  Combining workouts and chores makes both go by a little bit faster without making you feel like you’re losing any time.

5.  Steer clear of lots of alcohol.  Alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses water and take it easy on all of those empty carb calories.  You’ll want to be entertained, not the entertainment.  Plus, a hangover won’t only keep you from feeling good enough to hit the gym the next morning, it’ll make you crave greasy, bad for you foods while dehydration makes you more susceptible to germs.

6.  Don’t stress.  Just because you’ve made a plan, tried to eat the right things and imbibed in moderation doesn’t mean everything goes right.  If you step off track, it’s OK.  Stress leads to poor decision making that can make everything worse and missing one workout isn’t the end of your chance to stay healthy over the holidays.

Use any or all of these tips to stay healthy over the holidays and start your new year off on the right foot.

The Big Benefits of Interval Training

Runners can make big gains in race times by adding interval training.  The benefits of interval training at a high intensity are numerous.  From improved cardiovascular health, more effective weight loss and increased leg turnover, there’s not enough that can be said for the good things you’ll see from adding interval training to your program.  Here are five of those good reasons:

  • Interval training improves aerobic capacity by decreasing recovery time.  Bring your heart rate up then giving it a quick break trains that important muscle to operate at a higher level benefits of interval trainingfor a longer period of time without fatiguing by increasing the volume of blood it can move, replace and circulate.
  • Intervals increase lactate threshold.  Lactic acid is produced by anaerobic activity and the point at which it begins to accumulate in the blood stream is your lactate threshold.  Build-up of lactic acid can cause a decrease in muscle performance, stiffness and cramping.  The more tolerant your lactate threshold is, the more improvement you’ll see at high levels of effort.  Intervals work to increase this threshold by allowing the body to temporarily exceed it and recover while still maintaining an effective level of physical activity.
  • One of the biggest benefits of interval training is that it’s more effective at inducing fat loss, boosting metabolism and increasing post exercise calorie expenditure than typical endurance training.  Metabolic rates have been shown in increase for up to 24 hours following an intense interval session, burning calories all day long.  Intense interval training has also been linked to lower insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance.
  • Increasing speed is the end goal for lots of runners and intervals are a great way to do it.  Increasing the lactate threshold allows for more intense activity for longer period of time before pain or fatigue can interfere with performance.  To run fast, you need to practice running fast.  Intervals are the perfect way to train your body to operate at a high level of intensity for a long period of time.
  • Intervals are fun!  Using varied interval workouts prevent workout boredom and are a great way to judge progress.  Interval workouts are not only more effective, but also less time consuming than traditional endurance workouts as a thirty minute interval workout will garner the same benefits as a two hour long steady state endurance workout.

Include high intensity training to your program to reap these big benefits of interval training.  Intervals can be done on any piece of equipment, with body weight exercises, while running and even while walking which means anyone can be helped by adding them.

Want to add intervals to your program?  Ask us how!  Email or comment below!

4 Reasons for a Chia Seed Breakfast

Chia seed is a great addition to your pre-run, race or workout nutrition plan.  The versatile chia seed is home to many benefits and a powerful addition to your morning meal.  In addition to their good-for-you value, the seeds are usually produced organically and without GMO, making them friendly to just about any diet.  Here are four more good reasons to add a serving of chia to your next meal:chia seed

1:  Chia seeds are full of nutritious goodness.  A 28 gram (1 ounce or 2 Tablespoon) serving of whole grain, gluten-free chia is home to only 137 calories and also contains:

11 grams of dietary fiber.
4 grams of protein.
9 grams of fat (over half of which are Omega-3 fatty acids).
18% recommended daily value (RDA) of calcium.
30% RDA magnesium.
30% RDA manganese.
27% RDA phosphorus.
Zinc, Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and Potassium.

2:  Fiber.  Of the 12 grams of carbohydrate in a 28 gram serving of chia, 11 are fiber.  Having only one gram of carbohydrate makes chia a welcome addition to any low-carb nutrition plan.  All that fiber also can also help you feel full, eating fewer calories over the course of your day, and maintain gut health.

3.  Chia seed can help you stay hydrated.  Capable of absorbing up to 12 times their weight in water, chia seed can help your body retain water during a long run, tough workout or hot summer session.  All that water holding power causes the seeds to expand in your stomach, slowing the absorption of food and decreasing hunger.

4.  Easy to add to your diet.  Chia seeds have more texture than flavor and it’s simple to add them to almost anything.  They can be eaten raw, added to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and baked goods.  Athletes can even choose to turn the seeds into a gel by adding only water.  Be careful!  Because these tiny seeds can absorb not only lots of water, but fat, too they might unintentionally thicken sauces.

Do you eat chia seed?  Share one of your favorite recipes below!

Want to add chia seed to your diet?  Ask us how!  Email or fill out the form below: