5 Foot Exercises to Build Strength and Flexibility (Infographic)

Posted on May 08, 2019 under health | No Comment

Put your best foot forward with these quick and easy foot exercises.

Runners’ feet endure the brunt of the repetitive pounding of the sport, and this means that that many are susceptible to foot pain. As a runner, it is particularly important to include good foot training as part of your regular routine to help maintain good foot health and prevent injury. This infographic from Walsh Brothers Shoes helpfully lays out five quick and easy exercises you can try to keep your feet happy and healthy.

Why Should You Exercise Your Feet?
Research shows that taking the time to exercise your feet can help to build strength, develop flexibility, improve your range of motion, and lessen the risk of injury. It has also been shown to enhance your overall foot health by reducing muscle soreness, stiffness, and toe cramps.

What You Need To Know About Foot Exercises
When exercising your feet, be sure to include a mix of activities that help develop flexibility and strength. You can build flexibility through stretching exercises that focus on one group of muscles at a time. Working out against some form of resistance (e.g. weights or exercise bands) will help you to strengthen muscles.

Health & Safety Tips
Before starting on a foot exercise regime, be sure to consult a doctor or physical therapist if you have a physical injury or if you suffer from achy feet and ankles, arthritis, or diabetes. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. If your feet start to hurt, stop exercising immediately.

Get Started With These 5 Exercises
If you would like to start developing your foot strength and flexibility, scroll down to the infographic guide below which helpfully lays out five exercises that you can incorporate into your running routine.

Read the infographic below to learn more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Small Ways to Make Hiking Easier for Beginners

Posted on Apr 29, 2019 under health | No Comment

If you’re trying to get into better shape and have taken up hiking, you have chosen a great way to work out your entire body and feel better. Enthusiasts like Tyler Grasham act as an inspiration. Let’s face it, though: hiking can be hard! Take steps to make it a little easier on yourself.

Know Your Limits

The first step to an enjoyable hike is the location you choose. Even experienced hikers like Tyler Grasham had to start someplace. Depending on your experience level, you may find that some trails are too difficult for you to have any fun. That’s okay! Understand that as a beginner, you need to work your way up to harder trails. Attempting to do more than you can handle is not good for your muscles; you could strain yourself and be out of commission for future hikes.

  • There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps when you are first starting out. Remember that you can’t run before you can crawl. It is perfectly all right to know what is too much for you to handle.
  • Ask friends or family if they know of any hiking trails that are good for beginners. You might be surprised at the hidden spots in your community that you never knew existed.
  • If you feel like it’s too much, turn back. Look for something a little more suited to your level for the next time. It is not worth potentially hurting yourself and damaging your muscles!

Keep Your Head Low

If you feel yourself becoming discouraged by how much trail looms ahead, keep your eyes on the ground. Make a conscious effort to not look up and to keep your attention focused elsewhere. Your mentality can make all the difference in the world.

  • In moments like these, think about your breathing. Work on a breathing pattern that keeps you concentrated and helps you find a rhythm.
  • Focus on your steps. Be very deliberate on your foot placement, where you are walking and what the dirt and roots look like.
  • Ignore any hikers who seem to be flying past you. You are moving at your own pace and don’t need to keep up with anyone. Remember that this is supposed to be fun, not a competition.

    Small Ways to Make Hiking Easier

In some hikes, there can be moments where you question your sanity when you chose to partake. Give yourself a pat on the back and encourage yourself: You might be having a hard time with the trail you chose, but you are lapping everyone on the couch.

Race Report: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race

Posted on Mar 31, 2019 under Race | No Comment

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hot Chocolate Run

I’ve wanted to run the Hot Chocolate run for many years now. I still remember seeing this race being promoted at a race expo back in 2012, you couldn’t miss them with their large inflatable balloon taking up so much space at the expo. While a run that offered hot chocolate at the end was sweet and different, what I liked more was that they offered a really nice running jacket instead of a cheap t-shirt or finisher medal. At that time, I had collected more than enough shirts and race medals, but the jacket seemed more practical since it was something I would have been able to use much more often than a medal. I actually had the chance to run this race last year. I registered and even picked up my jacket at the race expo, but something came up and I wasn’t able to attend the race. I finally got to participate in the race this year and am glad I did. It was a very well-organized race, and I had no issues from start to finish. The course was pretty straightforward, we ran through some streets around downtown, I didn’t notice anything too scenic but it was nice that it started and finished around the same area. There were some hills throughout the course, but nothing too daunting. The chocolate was a nice treat at the end, and it was dark chocolate so I did not feel guilty eating that after the run. The Hot Chocolate Run is a great way to combine exercise and the social element of running together.

I also claimed my results on Athlinks, which is a great way to keep a historical record of all races you’ve ever run (and I’ve ran a lot of races..) It has fun info like all your personal records by distance, total races run, total miles and your Athlinks rank (I’m top 9%!) Here is a link to my Athlink.

And finally here are some photos taken before, during and after the Hot Chocolate run:

Read the rest of this entry »

Training Update: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race Week

Posted on Mar 19, 2019 under Training | No Comment

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

After a few years of inconsistent running and exercising, at the beginning of this year, I finally made the effort to get up early in the mornings to go running again. It’s only been 3 miles every day with some ‘longer’ runs at 5-6 miles, but it has become a habit where getting up doesn’t take 2-3 annoying alarms to get me out of bed. The real issue I’ve been having with these morning runs is how cold it has been! When I first started running again in January, the temperatures in the mornings were around the mid 40’s which is nothing like I’ve been used to. I keep hoping for warmer, summer weather where I’ll be able to just get out of bed and run in the shorts and t-shirt I slept in. But I’m pretty sure once I get those temperatures, I’ll be complaining about it being too hot for me to run in. I guess I’m just never satisfied with what I have.

So January got off to a great start, I actually ran 23 out of 31 days of the month for a total of 76.58 miles. Sure, most, if not all of those miles were around 9-10 minute/mile pace, but at least I was moving. February dropped a little in terms of runs and mileage, but I will blame the abnormal number of days of rain we received. I believe March will be on pace to run similar numbers as January. I still have the same problems I had before when I used to run often: my pace at the start of a run is slower than when I finish (usually because my body is not awake yet) and my overall pace in the mornings are a lot slower than during the afternoon. I’m constantly snacking during the day but for the most part, feel like I have more energy than before I started running again.

I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K run this weekend. It’s a pretty popular race that I’ve wanted to run for a number of years now. I can’t think of a better combination of running and hot chocolate in one race. But it’s always inspiring to come out and watch so many other fitness enthusiasts get up way before they usually do on a Sunday to go run. Everyone is so happy and cheerful being able to participate in such a fun event together.

Hot Chocolate 5K/15K Race Preview

Posted on Mar 19, 2019 under Race | No Comment

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K RunDisclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Similar to the Fit Foodie 5K, the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is a run that I’ve wanted to do for the longest time. I still remember seeing them advertise their run at a race expo many years ago. They had huge signs and offered cool perks like a race jacket and hot chocolate after the race. There was another race that I ran before that offered Irish hot chocolate, which was a nice treat after running a race. The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K has grown since then, now hosting races 19 different cities!

I will be running the race hosted in my hometown San Diego. The thing I like about established races is that they know what they are doing. They’ve experienced every issue or misstep before and have learned from it. After the first few years, if a race director does not learn from their mistakes, runners won’t keep coming back.

The race starts and finishes downtown and will take you through different parts of Balboa Park. Looking at the elevation chart, there are a few hills you may need to prepare for. But I’ve run so many local races in Point Loma and Liberty Station recently, getting to run around Downtown and Balboa Park is a nice change.

If you’re interested in participating in the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, visit their website and choose a city that you’re interested in.

If you register with the following code: BRHCSanDiego you’ll get this running armband!

 

Good luck and enjoy!!

Addaday Pro Massage Roller Product Review

Posted on Mar 06, 2019 under Reviews | No Comment

“Disclaimer: I received an Addaday Pro Roller to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

Addaday Pro Massage RollerOne of the first running-related products I reviewed on my running blog was a massage roller called The Stick. It was a self-massaging tool that you can use on different parts of your body to help reduce muscle knots and increase blood flow to prevent soreness in the future. The Addaday Pro Massage Roller is very similar to The Stick with the basic design, but is much more advanced in terms of how it can be used. There are different rollers or gears along the stick that are purposely placed to address specific muscle needs. For example, if you have a sore shin, there is a smaller gear that you can roll to target that muscle. I have been able to use the Addaday Pro Massage Roller on my calves, achilles, quads, hamstrings. The compact design allows it to be easily packed in a suitcase so you can travel with it if needed.

When I joined cross country in high school, we followed a strict routine of warming up, stretching, going for a run, followed a cool down run and more stretching. As a working adult, it is hard enough to find time to just go out and run, let alone all of the other pre and post run activities. The Addaday Pro Massage Roller addresses the stretching component by allowing runners to stretch out their muscles at their own leisure, whether it’s while sitting on the couch watching TV or at your desk at work. It is just a matter of keeping it nearby and going for a quick massage roller session to keep those muscles loose and stretched.

Where to Buy:

Noom Custom Weight Loss Program Overview

Posted on Nov 28, 2018 under health | No Comment

 

I wanted to share a quick overview of the custom weight loss program called Noom. Noom is a weight loss program that uses habit change psychology and small goals to help people live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight for good. The sign-up process is pretty straightforward, you share some basic information about yourself (current age, weight, height, goal weight, etc.) as well as some personal lifestyle questions to understand how you would be able to take advantage of the weight loss program. One thing I thought was helpful to know is that the programs are recommended (or at least consulted) with actual doctors. It’s reassuring knowing that these aren’t just random weight loss programs but ones that have been vetted by medical professionals.

You do not see the final weight loss program until you pay, which will vary depending on your weight loss goals and current fitness levels. But they do offer a 14-day trial, so it doesn’t hurt to check them out. Learn more about Noom here.

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

3 Small Changes to Improve your Physical Health

Posted on Jun 12, 2018 under health | No Comment

If you’d like to experience lasting changes in your physical health, it’s important to always work on switching things up. When you’re working out to lose weight, it’s important to alternate your routines so that you avoid a plateau. The same can be said in life. If you have the same routine and do the same things all the time, you’ll get the same results. If you’d like to experience major results over a period of time, here are three small ways to start changing your physical health. Read the rest of this entry »

2018 Ride Across California (RAC) Review

Posted on May 30, 2018 under Race | No Comment

Picture this: 100 5th graders and their parents biking (single file!) 267 miles from Yuma, Arizona west to Moonlight Beach in San Diego, California in one week. Sounds like a highly unlikely and extremely difficult event to organize, let alone participate in. But this has been going on for over 25 years and I was fortunate enough to participate in the Ride Across California this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Eating for Wellness: Balancing Exercise With Nourishment

Posted on Mar 16, 2018 under health | No Comment

You may be new to the wellness world where you eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis. Welcome to a brand-new you. However, there’s a smart way to fit all of these important aspects into your life. Learn how to eat for a body that can function at peak levels. A faster run each day may be possible.

Start With Carbs

Carbohydrates are sugars that give you short-term energy, such as within the next few hours. Before you perform any moderate exercise, the energy must be there. Ideally, eat a carbohydrate-heavy meal about two hours before your workout. You might add another carbo snack an hour before your workout in order to boost your energy levels even further.

Choose healthy carbs, including bananas and oatmeal, to shore up your energy reserves. Pancakes laden with syrup may be technically carbohydrates, but they have drawbacks in the form of unhealthy fats.

End With Proteins

You used your carbs for energy during the workout. Recovery time comes afterward. This process involves the muscles being healed with amino acids, which come from proteins. Try to eat a protein-rich snack or meal after your exercise. Lean meats, nuts and beans are good choices for the athlete in you.

Avoid any fatty meats, such as beef, because you’ll negate any benefits from your workout by adding in a lot of saturated fat. Healthy proteins give your body a chance to heal and recover so that subsequent workouts are easier.

Consider Nutrient Boosts

Think about adding beneficial nutrients, such as Le-vel Thrive, to your daily diet. These nutrient boosts come in specific levels that you consume throughout the day. You don’t just pop a pill in the morning and forget about it. By spacing out nutrients into three servings, the body has a nearly constant supply of vitamins and proprietary boosts.

Follow the instructions on any boosts that you might use. Taking them in the proper order and quantity is critical to a successful outcome.

Listen to Your Body

You’re following best practices for pre-workout and post-exercise food choices, but your body starts to feel drained after awhile. Remind yourself that you’re still human. Optimum diets and workout plans can always be derailed by injury, illness or other issues.

Listen to your body to decide if you should workout each day. Most athletes take a few days off each week, such as two or three days. The rest days don’t make you lazy. In fact, rest is an important part of working out. It gives your body a chance to heal.

Add in Healthy Fats

Don’t fall into the trap of eliminating all fats from your diet. Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated types, actually help your body fight off disease. Try olive oil, avocados and nuts in your meals. The fat helps your nervous system function while improving your cardiovascular functions.

Keep in mind that all fats should be eaten in moderation. They’ll satisfy your cravings so that a healthy lifestyle is easier to lead than not.

From Thrive reviews to enhanced recipes, learning more about the food and nutrients that benefit your life can take some time. Remind yourself that the learning process itself is a healthy journey. You’ll be able to run with the best in the nation with the right fuel shoring up your body systems.

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