Tag Archives: Fitness

Fitness Apparel

A personal victory for me, as I crested the final hill on the long arduous hiking trail. After months, I would celebrate a personal best. Emerging from a sedentary lifestyle the obstacles seemed insurmountable and there was some physical challenges to overcome. But as I stood at the top of that mountain realizing the 10 miles in 90 minutes. A cool wind whipped around me and I initially thought, “Ah – relief, pulling my dripping shirt away from my skin, this will cool me off.” However instead of feeling refreshed the wind chilled me to the bone. I thought I had dressed properly but apparently I missed it – before heading out that afternoon!

Wearing the right clothing can make the difference between an enjoyable workout verses an hour of misery.

Forget the fancy labels and the latest fashion trends, the best workout clothes are those suited to make working out as comfortable as possible – for you.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your work out clothing.

Choose the right Fabric

Wicking ability
If you’re going to be perspiring a lot, make sure your base layer will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for a polyester/ Lycra blend or another synthetic material. These materials keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When wet they dry quickly. If your preference is natural materials – wool and bamboo exercise shirts naturally “wick” away moisture too!

  • There are many breathable synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat away from your skin, which can help it to evaporate quickly and keep your body cool. Clothing made out of fabrics containing polypropylene or fabrics such as COOLMAX® and SUPPLEX® are a good choice for exercise and other activities in which you are likely to sweat a lot, as they allow the sweat to be evaporated from the skin but do not soak clothing and leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.

Consider your choice of cotton. While cotton shirts and pants will absorb the sweat, they don’t pull it away from the skin or help it to evaporate quickly. That’s why cotton workout clothes can feel heavy and wet during your workouts!

Get the Right Fit

  • Avoid fabrics that don’t breathe. Never wear clothing made out of rubber-based or plastic-based materials, which keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature too high during a workout.
  • Avoid any rough fabrics that could chafe or irritate your skin during repetitive movement. Materials that let you move and will not constrict your movements. Pay closer attention to the fit rather then the size. Some work out clothes run smaller and are more form fitting than regular clothing. Choosing items that have a small percentage of spandex will allow for greater range of motion. Providing a comfortable fit without being skin tight.

Make sure that your workout clothes fit your body and the workout that you have planned. In general, keep in mind that you don’t want any clothing that gets in the way of the activity.

Change with the Seasons

Your workout wardrobe should be versatile, carrying you from the hottest months to the coldest months for outdoor exercising. To avoid overspending during the changes of the seasons, when shopping, look for items that can easily layer during the cooler months.  Start with a moisture-wicking dry layer, such as a wicking T-shirt or tank top, then add a warmer layer such as a fleece pullover. Finish with a protective outer layer (for waterproofing and wind proofing) such as a windbreaker or a nylon shell. Shop during the off-season for the best deals.

  • Hot weather. Choose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and wick sweat away. Dress in clothes that are not only cool and comfortable, but also allow you to move freely.
  • Cold weather. Obviously you’ll need to dress warmly. but exercising boosts your heart rate and your body temperature. Dress in layers that you can remove, but be sure to keep sweat-wicking clothing as your inner layer. Adding an insulating layer on top of that. Cover your head, ears, and hands to protect them from the cold.
  • Wet or windy weather. Nothing can ruin an outdoor workout faster than getting soaked in the rain or caught in a strong wind. Wear an outer layer that protects you from the elements.

Proper fitness attire doesn’t stop with just your shirt. Cotton socks can also trap moisture and cause blisters, while a polyester-blend sock may help prevent them. Shorts, gloves, hats, sport bras and workout pants—even underwear—are also available in performance fabrics.

Just remember that no matter what the temperature, level of intensity, choice of activity, comfort is the key to making your work outs more enjoyable – and eliminating our excuses. You are likely to work up a sweat during your daily regimen so keep yourself as comfortable as possible.

Lets get physical

The moment you begin your workout, every part of your body is working together to make your movements effective. For instance, your heart will begin to beat faster in order to pump blood to your muscles, while your digestive system slows down, not being the body’s main priority. The first ten minutes you immediately feel the changes, your heart pounds, your muscles tighten up and your breath feels shallow. Fortunately, once you have hurdled that initial shock to your body – your workout will seem as comfortable as an evening stroll.

“The body follows the mind”

Staying in motion, will require commitment and dedication. Especially when you first begin your daily exercise regimen. There is actually something happening inside of you beyond the simple inertia – when you choose movement – fitness.

Your body is attempting to accomplish three main things;

  • increase oxygen flow
  • eliminate metabolic wastes
  • eliminate heat

As a result of trying to make all three of those things happen, your body creates something called ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the basis of function for your body.

Depending on what workout you are doing, your body will kick into on of the three states;

  • phosphagen system
  • glycogen/lactic acid system
  • aerobic respiration system

Let’s go through it.

Phosphagen System: In this state, every one of your cells has enough ATP to last 5-15 seconds. It is crucial because it helps you react immediately in any situation. Such as running away, or throwing a punch. Within the first few seconds of intense physical movement – your body is ready to react.

Glycogen/Lactic Acid System: Since 5-15 seconds of physical movement gets used up quickly, your muscles do have a reserve called glycogen, made up of a chain of glucose molecules. It takes 12 different chemical reactions to create ATP – a slow process that lasts for about 90 seconds. This state doesn’t last very long because of the lactic acid build-up, a soreness or burn that is felt in the first minute of high intensity movement. Sprinters use this system the most.

Aerobic Respiration System: A workout lasting over two minutes your body realizes that you’ll not be stopping anytime soon – it responds with oxygen, an aerobic respiration. It helps break down glucose into carbon dioxide and water. Glucose is available from glycogen in your muscles through the blood stream, and from the food in the intestines. Aerobic respiration allows you to work out for a much longer time, then that of the first two systems. Gathering its energy from carbs, fats and if necessary – protein.

Our bodies will naturally know which system to use when we work out. Professional athletes will train specific systems to improve in their sport. Understanding each system will also allow us to manipulate our routine to match.

… but what’s happening to the rest of our body, when we start to move?

Blood Our blood flow increases as your body supplies additional blood cells to your rapidly beating heart.

Skin During your work out your body is trying its best to release heat. Blood vessels dilate, bring heat towards the skin, and then release it. That is why your skin feels warm – it is your body’s way of releasing its internal heat.

Muscles The system to gain energy and ATP as mentioned above, there are “micro tears” that occur during your workouts – don’t worry these tiny tears take a day or two to rebuild. The tears explain why your muscles feel sore – the rebuilding is how they become stronger over time.

Lungs VO2 Max is a term you may have heard around the gym, and it represents the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can use. When you work out, your lungs work quickly to take in all the oxygen that your body requires. Over time, as you get more fit, you’ll begin to notice that your V02 Max will increase.

Heart Working out for more than two minutes takes your body into aerobic respiration? This means that oxygen is needed throughout the whole body. As a result, your heart rate will increase to efficiently move the oxygen to your muscles.

Brain The extra blood and oxygen helps you become more alert, awake, and focused. It releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones in our body.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day, of activity to stay Heart Healthy.

“You signed up for what?”

Years ago the sport of triathlon was considered a bizarre, over the top, extreme form of fitness. Today, competing in a triathlon event is mainstream. Nevertheless it still remains a rather intimidating sport – especially for beginners, like myself. Each year, thousands of men and women – participate in their first triathlon. I believe anyone can participate in a triathlon, even if you haven’t worked out in years. Although complex and the learning curve is steep for first-timers, patience, determination and (proper) training, are key to a successful finish.

How do I get started, how do I train? … 

  • Begin with an amount of training that is appropriate to your present level of fitness.
  • Plan for 12 weeks to prepare for a sprint triathlon which consists of a half mile swim; a 12 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run
  • Keep the intensity at about a four-to-six, on a scale of 1-to-10 in all of your workouts.

MONTH 1

Monday –  Off
Tuesday –  RUN: 20 minutes
Wednesday –  BIKE: 30 minutes or indoor cycling class
Thursday –  Off
Friday –  RUN: 20 minutes
Saturday –  SWIM: 10 to 16 x 25 meters, rest 20 seconds
Sunday –  BIKE: 30 to 40 minutes or indoor cycling class

SWIM: During weeks 3 and 4, swim 8 to 10 x 50 meters, rest 15 seconds. BIKE/RUN: Increase by five minutes each week.

MONTH 2

Monday –  Off
Tuesday – RUN: 3 to 4 Two-minute intervals
Wednesday –  BIKE: 50 to 60 minutes or indoor cycling class
Thursday –  SWIM: 8 to 10 x 75 meters, rest 15 seconds
Friday –  RUN: 35 to 40 minutes
Saturday –  SWIM: 8 to 10 x 75 meters, rest 15 seconds
¹BRICK: BIKE: 30 minutes steady RUN: 20 to 30 minutes

SWIM: During weeks 3 and 4, swim 5 x 100 meters, rest 15 seconds. BIKE: Increase by five minutes each week. RUN: Begin interval training: Warm up for 15 minutes, then alternate two minutes at a faster pace with two minutes jog/walk. Cool down for 15 minutes; increase by one interval each week.

MONTH 3

Monday –  RUN: 6 to 8 two-minute intervals
Tuesday –  BIKE: 60 to 70 minutes
Wednesday –  SWIM: 800 meters
Thursday –  RUN: 40 minutes
Friday –  SWIM: 800 meters or 30 minutes in open water
¹BRICK: BIKE: 50 minutes steady RUN: 25 to 30 minutes

During weeks 2 and 3, do the brick on Tuesday; on Sunday, do a mini triathlon (15-minute swim, 45-minute bike, 20-minute run). Race week: Revert to month 1, week 1. The day before your race, rest or swim easy for 10 minutes.

¹Back-to-back bike-run training workouts (aka BRICKS) are essential—they’ll teach you to run on legs that feel like jelly after hopping off the bike.

The first mile always feels as if someone else’s legs have been grafted to your body, It’ll feel lousy—but since triathletes prepare themselves with brick workouts, they hit their stride pretty quickly.” – Women’s Health

Start in the second month of training, a bike-run brick every weekend. You’ll discover that it takes about 10 minutes for you to get past the running-through-mud feeling. Plus it will mentally prepare you for day of the race day. Most important is that you’ll know you can push through and finish strong.finish line1

Find your Sole-Mate

… Walking toward a healthier you!

There are countless ways you can get active, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health.

Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

There really are so many benefits for such a simple activity! For one, it’s a great way to exercise and spend time with family and friends.