Twinlab Fuel, Muscle, Endurance, Recovery, Sexual Health, Weight Management

How to start a running program

Running is great cardio exercise and doesn’t require an expensive gym membership or equipment. If you don’t have much experience with it though, it can be hard to start a running program.

Before you start, check with your doctor to make sure running is safe exercise for your current state of health.

The next step is finding a comfortable pair of running shoes. The right shoes can prevent shin splints, blisters, sore muscles and sore joints. Paying a little extra for a lightweight, breathable, high quality shoe can really make a difference.

There are many different terrains you can run on, each with pros and cons. Asphalt sidewalks are easy to find and usually provide a smooth surface which may prevent tripping, but the hard surface can be hard on your joints. Running tracks or dirt surfaces are easier on your joints but may be less accessible. Trails offer beautiful scenery but you need to watch out for roots, rocks, holes and anything else that may cause you to trip, fall or twist an ankle. Wherever you run, make sure it is a safe area and wear reflective clothing, if need be.

If the resource is available to you, speak with a personal trainer for tips on technique and safety while running. The American Council on Exercise recommends the following motions:

-Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and squeeze them in at your sides. Keep your hands relaxed and do not twist your upper body or drive your arms across your torso.
-Drive your arms from the shoulders, not the elbows, and keep your shoulders down and relaxed. These techniques will increase your power and help you run more efficiently.
-Try to lean forward slightly from the ankles, not the waist, and bring your knees up a bit higher as they swing forward.
-Avoid unnecessary movements like excessive bouncing.
-Keep your head level with the ground.
-Hit the ground with your heel and then roll forward onto the ball of your foot. From there, push off with the front part of your foot.

Find a length of time and frequency that feels right to you—generally not less than 20 minutes, three times a week—and alternate between a brisk walk and a jogging pace. It’s important to stretch before and after a run, as it may prevent injury and muscle soreness.

You should always listen to you body—if you feel that your pace or intensity is too extreme, pull back a bit. Take a day or two off between running and consider following a strength training program on those days off in order to balance your muscle development. When you feel ready to increase the time of your runs, slowly add a couple of minutes each week.

Don’t do too much too soon, as you may burn out and lose interest. Also remember that you won’t necessarily lose weight or build noticeable muscle in the first week or month. “Be consistent,” says USA Track and Field star, Lolo Jones. “Don’t stop just because you may not see immediate changes.”


Ready to take a running Challenge?

How To Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Weight Management

Setting goals can help to provide direction and motivation towards achieving lasting change in your life. This is especially true when starting a weight management program. However, all goals are not created equal. Goals that are vague or unrealistic, for example, may in fact sabotage your efforts, leaving you feeling discouraged when you don’t reach them. The Mayo Clinic has created a goal-setting approach to help you successfully manage your weight, called S.M.A.R.T. Follow these guidelines to create your weight management goals and start on the path to success!

                  S = Specific

                  M = Measurable

                  A = Attainable

                  R = Realistic

                  T = Timely (or Tangible)

    Specific. Make sure that your goals are clear and specific. Incorporating a plan of action into your goals will help you to focus your efforts. For instance, instead of setting a vague goal to “lose some weight,” a more specific goal would be: to lose 10 pounds by jogging 5 miles, three times a week.

    Measurable. When setting goals, be sure that you structure your goals so that you have a way to measure your progress. Being able to track the progress you’ve made will keep you motivated to stick with your plan. “I want to look good in a bikini” is an immeasurable goal, and won’t allow you to track your progress along the way. Re-worded as “I want to lose 15 pounds in three months,” you now have a goal that you can measure by weighing yourself regularly and recording the dates of your weigh-ins to see if you’re on track towards reaching your target date.

    Attainable. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to find ways to achieve them. However, if you set goals based on someone else’s expectations (such as your doctor or family member telling you you need to lose weight), or that are too far out of reach, it is unlikely that you’ll commit to them.

    Realistic. Setting goals that are realistic and achievable are crucial to your success. While they should be ambitious, your goals should also represent objectives you are both willing and able to work towards achieving. Sometimes it is helpful to break large goals up into smaller goals.
    Timely (or Tangible). Creating a timeframe in which to achieve your goals gives you a set target to work towards. Without a timeframe, your goals may be too vague and won’t force you to commit to them. The “T” in S.M.A.R.T can also stand for Tangible, meaning that you can experience it with one of the senses. Tangible goals are easier to make specific and measurable, thus making them more attainable.

    Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Boost Your Workout with Interval Training

Interval training has long been a key component of training routines for athletes. But this method of exercising can benefit anyone, not just trained athletes. Interval training, which consists of alternating intervals of high-intensity exercise followed by a lower-intensity recovery period, can help you add some variety to your workout while also helping you to burn more calories and improve your aerobic capacity, allowing you to work out longer or more intensely.

Interval training can help you get the most bang for your buck out of your workout, by incorporating both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise relies on oxygen for energy production and refers to low to moderate intensity activities that increase your heart rate and breathing, but can be maintained for longer periods of time. Examples of aerobic activities include jogging, swimming, and cycling. Anaerobic exercise relies on energy stored in the muscles instead of oxygen. Though anaerobic exercise is not as effective for burning fat as aerobic exercise is, anaerobic exercise helps burn fat indirectly by increasing the metabolic rate after your workout is complete. Due to its high intensity level, can only be sustained for brief periods of time. Anaerobic activities include sprint running, spring swimming and weight lifting.

Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise have specific benefits. Aerobic exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, burn fat, lower blood pressure, and improve your cholesterol profile, while anaerobic exercise helps to build and strengthen muscle, increase metabolism, and strengthen bones. However, during intense exercise, your muscles produce the waste product lactic acid, which can contribute to sore muscles. An accumulation of lactic acid can leave you feeling exhausted and in pain. By alternating exercise intensity, interval training can help to reduce the buildup of lactic acid in muscles.

So how do you create the right interval training program for you? Interval training can be done with several different types of activities, including running, biking or swimming. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula; the length and intensity of each interval depends on what you hope to achieve with your workout, and your general level of fitness. You may want to speak with a trainer to develop a personalized interval training program.

If your goal is to increase your general fitness level, you can structure the length and intensity of your intervals based on how you feel that day. For example, you may choose to alternative two minutes of jogging with 30 seconds of sprinting, and slowly increase the length of your high-speed intervals or decrease the length of your recovery intervals throughout your workout.

If you have a more specific fitness goal in mind, you may want to take a more scientific approach to creating a program and create specific goals based on the following factors: intensity of each interval, duration of each high-intensity interval, duration of recovery interval, and the number of repetitions you would like to complete.

However you decide to structure your interval training program, always be sure to warm up for a few minutes before your workout, and cool down at the end.

Always remember that before you begin any diet or exercise program you should consult your physician.

How To Relieve a Side Stitch

The side stitch, also referred to as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP), is a common condition experienced at one time or another by most people who regularly engage in sports or exercise.

Characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain just beneath the ribcage, this frustrating cramp occurs most frequently during vigorous activity that involves a lot of up and down movement, such as running or jumping. The pain is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm muscle when the ligaments extending from the diaphragm to the internal organs (particularly the liver) are stretched.

Though it can occur on either side of the abdomen, the side stitch occurs much more frequently on the right side. Why is that? When you inhale, your lungs fill with air, and your diaphragm is forced downward. When you exhale, your lungs contract and your diaphragm rises. While running, approximately 70% of people exhale as their left foot hits the ground with only about 30% of people exhaling as their right foot hits the ground. The latter group is more likely to experience side stitches. As the right foot hits the ground, gravity pulls your internal organs, including the liver, downward. If you are exhaling at the same time, then your diaphragm rises as your lungs contract, resulting in stretching of the diaphragm. This repeated stretching can lead to spasms in the diaphragm.

To treat a side stitch, it is best to stop, or at least reduce the intensity of, the activity that caused the stitch. Take deep, even breaths until the pain subsides. Applying manual pressure to the painful area can also help to alleviate the pain. If you tend to exhale as your right foot touches the ground, try to adjust your stride so that your left foot hits the ground as you exhale.

There are also steps you can take to prevent side stitches from occurring in the first place:

  • Stretch thoroughly before exercising, focusing on the lower back and abdominals.
  • Avoid eating for one to two hours before a workout, because food in the stomach can create more force on the ligaments and increase cramping.
  • When running, make sure to take deep, even breaths, as shallow breathing leaves the diaphragm consistently raised, not allowing the ligaments to lower far enough to relax.
  • Drink more fluids to avoid dehydration, which can increase muscle cramps.

Team Full Throttle Twinlab Racing Nabs Podiums in Several Divisions at the 2009 Robert J. Aaron Memorial Mighty Montauk Triathlon

New York, NY. (June 24, 2009) –-Twinlab® is proud to announce the success of Team Full Throttle Twinlab Racing at the 2009 Robert J. Aaron Memorial Mighty Montauk Triathlon. With winners in most divisions, Full Throttle Twinlab Racing exemplified a team dominating performance. The race consisted of a 1 mile swim, 22 mile bike ride and a 6.2 mile run. Overall winner, William Kelly led the team, Andrew Kalley placed second and for her first win, Allison Lind took the overall women’s title.

“It is truly amazing that we had 10 athletes in the top 33 to cross the finish line,” says Scott Berlinger, President/Founder, Full Throttle Endurance Inc. “I've always believed that a team setting makes everyone, even the coach, train harder and focus more. And at the end of the day, it is more fun to go out and race as a team as opposed to just being a group of fragmented people with no real sense of community.”

Full Throttle Twinlab Racing is a high-intensity multi-sport training program for those who are ready to bring the benefits of superior personal athleticism into their lives. With a heightened emphasis on sports nutrition, this year the team incorporates Twinlab® supplements to make their training program complete. “It all comes down to proper nutrition and we went after the best source, Twinlab,” says Scott Berlinger, President/Founder, Full Throttle Endurance Inc. “The right training, the right bikes, and the right nutrition along with our positive attitude and will to win all add up to consistent victories.”

Full Throttle Twinlab Racing encompasses participants from all age groups, professional levels, and social backgrounds. The program offers a community of like-minded individuals the opportunity to incorporate high-level training and racing into a balanced lifestyle and welcomes all ability levels. The only requirement is a personal commitment to the pursuit of athletic excellence.

“We are proud to sponsor a group of exceptional athletes like Full Throttle Twinlab Racing. Their commitment and determination fall right in line with our views on fitness and athleticism. What it really comes down to is a commitment to excellence,” says Mark Fox, President, ISI Brands/Twinlab.


About Full Throttle Twinlab Racing:
Team Full Throttle Twinlab Racing trains at the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, in Central Park, and in the landscape of northwestern Connecticut. The team races primarily on the east coast, but the elite athletes compete in Ironman and other triathlon competitions throughout the nation and around the world.

About Twinlab:
Twinlab® Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high quality, science-based, nutritional supplements, including a complete line of vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, herbs and sports nutrition products. www.twinlabfuel.com

The "Core" Essentials

Over the last few years, core training has become a staple of exercise routines, though it has been the focus of ancient practices such as yoga and tai chi for centuries. Yet many people don't have a good understanding of what exactly the core is, and the importance of core strength not only in your workout, but even in everyday activities such as walking or lifting groceries.

Many people mistakenly interchange the terms core and abs. Actually, your core runs the entire length of your body's trunk and torso, and includes the muscles in your back, abdomen, pelvis and hips. These muscles form the foundation for all your body's movement, your posture and your balance by helping to stabilize your spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. If your core is strong, you are more stable during movements, your posture is better, and you have greater strength and power during your activities. A weak core can result in poor posture, injury, and lower back pain.

So now that you understand the importance of a strong and stable core, how do you incorporate core training into your workout? A good core training program should target all the muscle groups that stabilize the spine and pelvis. Though there are several pieces of equipment such as stability balls, balance boards and kettle balls that can help with core training, you can build core strength without any equipment. The strength required to hold a pose, coupled with the gravitational pull of your body weight are enough to effectively work your core muscles. Push ups, squats, lunges and crunches are basic exercises that can help you get started on building core strength; pilates, yoga and tai chi classes also focus on exercises that develop your core, or consult with a trainer, who can help you develop a personalized core strengthening regimen.

Successful Weight Management

Having a weight management strategy benefits pretty much everyone-whether your goal is to maintain your weight or get better muscle definition. Make a plan and remember it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor about your weight goals and before making any significant changes in your diet or exercise routine. Here are some tips that may help you get a plan together.

We know the basics-to manage your weight you need to burn more calories than you're taking in and if you're eating more than you're burning you'll gain weight. The secret to making the jump from knowing how to change your weight to actually getting results is to make a commitment to a lifestyle that supports your goals. It may sound like a full time job, and there's no doubt that when you're starting out with a new plan, it takes a while to find what works for you.

When you're figuring out your strategy you should always keep a few questions in mind:

  • will your diet include plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, lean protein and foods from the other major food groups?
  • whatever the idea behind the diet, does it feature foods that you can afford and can find easily?
  • will you be eating foods that you like and will commit to eating for the long term, not just a set amount of time?
  • do you have the time to prepare these foods?
  • will you get enough nutrients and calories on this plan?

That takes care of the food, but you also have to be balancing your diet with exercise. If you have a personal trainer, ask what kinds of exercises are right for your body and your goals. Always speak with an expert before trying new techniques so as to avoid injuries.

Remember, though, that research shows whatever kind of exercising you're doing, it should be done regularly.

Drop Pounds By Making Smart Choices

Little things mean a lot—whether you're trying to sculpt and tone or improve your health, making small changes in your day can help you drop a few pounds with very little extra effort. Take a look at the tips below for some ideas.

1. Cut out the empty calories. Find some empty calories in your daily routine that you can eliminate. For example, if you cut out one can of cola a day, you'll knock off about 136 calories per day.

2. Drink water. It may help you eat less and burn more calories. Drinking a glass or two of water before a meal will fill you up and can help you eat less. And researchers are now reporting that water consumption may increase the rate at which people burn calories.

3. Lighten up your omelet. It's an easy way to cut out over 100 calories a serving. By using ½ cup of egg whites in your omelets instead of ½ cup of whole eggs, you can cut out 120 calories.

4. Team up. People who exercise together are more likely to stay motivated. Find a friend and put together a realistic exercise plan, even if it's just a 20 minute walk during your lunch time.

5. Slim down your poultry. Thinking of using chicken thighs? Think again. By switching to white meat and removing the skin, you take an eight ounce serving from 560 calories to 375 calories and cut out 24 grams of fat.

6. Get your Z's. Sleep deprivation may be packing pounds onto your waistline. Research shows that a lack of sleep may make weight loss and weight control more of a challenge because it alters metabolism by increasing the production of cortisol (a stress hormone). Also, you're more likely to eat more if you're feeling fatigued.

7. Only have 15 minutes? You don't have to commit hours a day to make a difference. Add a brisk 15 minute walk to your day and burn extra calories. If you want to challenge yourself and pick up the pace - switch to a 15 minute run and burn even more calories.

8. Get portions under control. Cut your poultry or meat portion from eight ounces to five ounces just once a day and you'll eliminate around 138 calories.

9. Eat several small meals a day. Frequent, small meals will actually increase your metabolism. Eating small meals every few hours during the day can help keep your metabolism revved up and that means you'll burn more calories overall.

10. Choose whole grain products. This is an easy way to reduce your caloric intake significantly. A small muffin made with white flour contains about 259 calories. If you were to replace it with an oat bran muffin of the same size, you'd cut out about 81 calories.

Hydration is Key for Peak Performance

Water is one of the most important components of the human body. Making up almost 2/3 of the body, water assists nearly every part of the body in functioning efficiently. Just to give you an idea of how important water is to our health, consider this: our blood is made up of 92% water, and our brains and muscles are each made up of 75% water. Water plays a critical role in regulating body temperature, cushioning and protecting joints and vital organs, delivering nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in the body, and removing waste from the body.

For athletes and individuals who exercise regularly, staying sufficiently hydrated is also critical to exercise performance. The body can lose more than a quart of water in one hour of exercise, and if there is not enough water for the body to cool down through perspiration, dehydration occurs. Exercising while in a dehydrated state can result in exhaustion, muscle fatigue, loss of coordination, heat exhaustion, and in more extreme cases, heat stroke.

The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women consume 91 ounces of water daily, and that men consume 125 ounces daily, with approximately 80% of your daily intake coming from beverages, and 20% through food.1 People who exercise regularly need even more, especially if they are working out in warm to hot weather. Women typically do not require as much hydration as men due to smaller body size, slower perspiration rates and electrolyte loss, and lower metabolic rates during exercise.

However, the rate at which individuals sweat and dehydrate varies depending on length and intensity of exercise, altitude, and temperature. There are two simple methods that will help you determine your individual hydration needs. First, monitor your urine. You should have a large amount, and urine should be pale (unless you are taking vitamins or other supplements, which can darken the color of urine for several hours). Dark, concentrated urine generally means you are dehydrated. Second, weigh yourself before and after exercise. Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound lost after a workout.

To ensure that you are properly hydrated for your workout, be sure to consume an adequate amount of fluids 24 hours before you exercise. You should also prehydrate with 17 to 20 ounces of water at least two hours before exercising, and drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluids every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout. And as stated, after completing a workout, consume 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of weight lost to help your body recover and rehydrate for your next workout.2

Though water is generally the best fluid replenisher for most individuals, if you are engaging in high-intensity exercise for longer than 45-60 minutes, sports drinks containing sodium can help to replace electrolytes lost during your workout faster than water. Individuals who sweat profusely during a workout or who have a high amount of sodium in their sweat (evidenced by salt stains or rings on your workout clothes) may also want to opt for sports drinks, and monitor their diet to make sure they consume enough sodium.

References:
1. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2004) National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI//DRI_Water/73-185.pdf
2. Casa DJ, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes. J Athl Train 2000;35(2):212-24.

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