Proform has four pre-qualified spots in the Boston Marathon and we’re giving them to YOU! We will be giving them away through Facebook and Twitter, here’s how to win a spot:
1. Like our page
2. Enter your email (This is how we will choose a winner)
3. Share the contest on your wall and tell why you want to run in the 2013 Boston Marathon!
Here’s a link to the tab: https://www.facebook.com/proform/app_107727025983833
1. Follow us on twitter
2. Retweet our post about the contest!
Here’s a link to our twitter page: https://twitter.com/ProFormFitness
Terms and Conditions:
-All entries are pre-qualified
-Registration fee not included
-Travel and related expenses not included
-Registration Code will be mailed upon completion of contest
-The contest will run from Thursday, February 14th through Monday, February 25th
-Winners will be notified Monday, February 26th
Patellofemoral pain syndrome got its nickname for an obvious and very unfortunate reason–it’s common among runners. The stress of running can cause irritation where the kneecap (patella) rests on the thighbone. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic, and it may disappear while you’re running, only to return again afterward. While biomechanical issues may be to blame, the cause can often be traced back to poorly conditioned quadriceps and tight hamstrings. Weak quads aren’t able to support the patella, leading it to track out of alignment, and inflexible hamstrings can put pressure on the knee. If you want to treat and avoid another bout with runner’s knee, add strengthening and stretching to your routine. The three-step quadriceps exercise below is a good place to start. It works the muscles on the front, inside, and outside of your thigh. Do 10 reps of each part on both legs.
Front Thigh: Lie on your back with an ankle weight on your right leg. Fully extend that leg and lock your knee. Keeping your foot relaxed and in a neutral position, lift your leg straight up toward your head as far as you can. Your goal should be to position your leg perpendicular to your body. Return to the starting position.
Inner Thigh: Do the same exercise, but this time, turn out your right leg (toes pointing away from you) to target your inner thigh muscles.
Outer Thigh: Repeat the same exercise again with your right leg turned in (toes pointing toward you) to isolate the muscles of your outer thigh.
In: Fitness, Health, Running
Are you sick of painful blisters, bunions, corns, black toenails and other bothersome running ailments? If you love to run, but you hate the way your feet feel afterward, it might be time to think about getting some new training shoes. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine offers five suggestions to help you get the shoe you need for training you can love.
1. Do Your Research
First, gather information. One of the best ways to learn about running shoes is to go to a reputable running-shoe store. Knowledgeable sales associates can help you find the perfect shoe for your training type. Factors they might take into account include:
- Your past experience with shoes
- Any current problems you may be experiencing
- Your biomechanical needs
- Local environmental factors
- Running and racing requirements
It’s also not a bad idea to do some research on your own. Search the internet, ask your running pals, talk to your doctor and maybe even go to the library!
2. Check Out Your Old Shoes
A great way to learn about your shoe needs is to go straight to the source—your old shoes! First, examine the soles of your shoes. Make note of where the most significant wear has occurred. Many times, this can tell you whether you heel strike, sport a high arch, have a pronated foot and more. With that information, you can tie your ailment to a specific problem, making it easier to find a shoe personalized to your training needs.
3. Try on Different Shoes
Next, go to a running store with a good reputation and try on lots of running shoes. Make sure to put on both the right and left shoe and keep them on for about 10 minutes to make sure they remain comfortable. Most good stores will allow you to run up and down the block a few times to experience what a running shoe will feel like. As you run, make sure nothing pinches and that you like the feel of the shoe and your stride.
4. Break in Your New Shoes
Once you have purchased a new and comfortable shoe, don’t put them to the test with a 12-mile run. Start out with an easy 3 and work your way up.
5. Stock Up
Finally, when you find the shoe you love, buy several pairs. Oftentimes, manufacturers make unannounced changes to running shoes, varying from a subtle change in cushioning to major structural midsole changes. Manufacturers have also been known to discontinue a model then resume production a few years later with shoes boasting the same name but completely different features. Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to stock up on your favorites.
Check out our favorite running shoes at altrazerodrop.com.
In: Altra Zero Drop Footwear, Exercise, Running, Running Shoes
- Move faster: The faster you run, the more calories you’ll burn. Step it up during the sprinting intervals and push yourself to the point of huffing and puffing, because remember: the interval will be over after a minute or two, and then you can slow down and have time to recover.
- Mix up the equation: If you always move at a moderate pace for three minutes and then sprint for one minute, your body will quickly adapt to these demands and you’ll wonder why you’re not seeing the results you’re after. Keep your muscles guessing by varying the interval times both from workout to workout and during the workout itself.
- Go for the hills: Aside from increasing your speed, you can also make the sprinting segments of your workout more challenging by adding incline. If you’re inside, pump up the incline on the treadmill, and if you’re outside, every time you get to a hill, pick up the pace until you reach the top. Hills will not only increase your endurance and speed, but they’ll also help tone your lower body faster than running on a flat surface.
- Once a week won’t cut it: If you’re new to the interval training scene, the only way to make it feel easier and to see quicker results is to incorporate this type of training at least three times a week.
- Don’t just run: Since running all the time puts you at risk for injuries and fitness plateaus, be sure to perform intervals with other types of cardio such as biking, swimming, dancing, or jumping rope.
Do you incorporate intervals into your workout?
In: Fitness, Running
Are you a marathon runner or striving to become one? Read the following tips and suggestions to get training and prepared for race day.
1-Decide what marathon you want to run and register for it. Make sure the race is four to six months away because you need that much time to train.
2- Purchase some good running shoes, running clothes, and a hydration belt or some other way to carry fluids on long runs. Some runners also like to wear a heart rate monitor and use a music player.
3- Find a training partner or join a training group if possible. Training for a marathon with someone is much easier and more fun because you have support during the hard times and someone to help you keep your eye on the finish line.
4- Be determined and disciplined about your running goals each week and try not to skip any workouts. Depending on whether you are a beginner or experienced runner, you will start out with a weekly training plan like the following:
Monday: 2 to 5 miles; Tuesday: 2 to 5 miles; Wednesday: rest; Thursday: 2 to 6 miles; Friday: 2 to 3 miles; Saturday: 4 to 8 miles; Sunday: rest.
5- Increase certain runs each week so you incorporate a mid-length run and a long run into your training plan. A typical weekly workout after two or three months of training might be: Monday: 4 to 7 miles; Tuesday: 9 to 14 miles; Wednesday: rest; Thursday: 5 to 8 miles (race pace or faster); Friday: 4 to 6 miles; Saturday: 16 to 20 miles; Sunday: rest.
6- Figure out how you will replace calories during the race. Some runners rely on the sports beverages handed out at aid stations. Others carry and eat gels you can find at running stores. Whatever the plan, practice it on your long runs so your body can get used to it.
Don’t Give Up…
7- If you get injured, take a few rest days and then continue with your training plan. It is not good to run through an injury or a pain.
8- If your muscles hurt more than usual, you probably need to replace your shoes. Some runners only put 200 to 300 miles on their shoes before replacing. More efficient runners might be able to put up to 500 miles on their shoes.
9- If you start feeling depressed and fatigued for no reason, you might be suffering from overtraining syndrome. Take a few days off and eat better to get back into balance.
The Finish Line
10- Taper your runs, starting three weeks before race date. You don’t want to completely stop running but slowly decrease your miles and your long run to ensure that you have peak energy on race day.
11- Set a goal pace. Don’t go out too fast at the start. Miles 14 to 21 are hard because you’re tired, and the end feels far away. Stay strong and keep running even if you have a bad mile. Drink at every aid station and eat the gels and fruit handed out on the course. After mile 21, the end is in sight, so remember how many times you ran five miles during training and push through to the finish.
12- Recovering after a marathon is extremely important. Drink plenty of fluids and give your muscles time to repair. You might be sore for up to a week after the race. Take some rest days and let your body heal.
Do have a marathon training plan? If so, feel free to share it.
In: Fitness, Health, Marathon, Running
We’ve all been there: days when you feel as bloated as the blow-up Shrek in the Macy’s parade. Okay, sometimes you know that having that third helping of your sister’s peach cobbler wasn’t the best idea. But when you’re eating right and exercising regularly but still can’t zip up your skinny jeans, what gives? “One of the main causes of bloat isn’t how much you eat; it’s eating certain foods that are difficult for your stomach and intestines to digest,” explains Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian in Sarasota, Florida, and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “These substances then pass into your colon, where bacteria feed on them, producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up.” About 20 percent of adults experience bloating, according to one study from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, but “anecdotally that number is much higher. Most women I see in my practice complain about bloat at one time or another,” Dr. Gerbstadt says. “The good news is that with some simple diet and lifestyle changes, you can reverse that bloated feeling, fast.” Start with these smart tips, which can help you flatten your belly for good.
If your waistband feels snug after dinner, head outside for a brisk 10-minute walk. Physical activity helps air bubbles pass through your digestive tract quicker, explains Dr. Gerbstadt, so that bloated feeling will disappear faster than if you lounge on the couch. In fact, one of the worst things you can do on “fat” days is skip your workout: Moderate exercise, like biking for 30 minutes three times a week, significantly improved bloating and other symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome in a new Swedish study.
Pop a probiotic.
Sometimes bloating can be caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in your intestines, especially if you have been taking antibiotics to treat, say, a urinary tract infection or sinus infection, explains Sita Chokhavatia, MD, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Probiotics can help restore the bacterial balance, but not all brands have proven that they work: Bifidobacterium infantis is the only probiotic strain that studies show relieves GI symptoms, such as bloating, a Northwestern University review found. Dr. Chokhavatia recommends trying a two-week course to see if it helps.
Divide your dairy.
More than one in 10 adults are lactose intolerant, and bloat is a common side effect, according to a 2009 Baylor College of Medicine study. But if you suspect that milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are causing your belly bulge, you don’t have to worry that you’ll miss out on their benefits, namely lots of calcium and protein. Lactose-intolerant people can handle at least 12 grams of lactose (the amount in a cup of milk) with minor or no symptoms, researchers at the National Institutes of Health say. “For people with lactose concerns, I recommend they spread their dairy intake throughout the day — say, a half cup of milk with their breakfast cereal, and cheese with crackers in the afternoon,” says Tara Gidus, RD, a nutritionist in Orlando, Florida. “Choose dairy that comes from yogurt and hard cheeses, such as cheddar and provolone, which are digested more easily.” If even small amounts of dairy cause stomach upset, switch to lactose-reduced or lactose-free products.
If you’ve ever had an urgent need to find a bathroom before a big race or presentation, you’re no stranger to the internal effects of stress. “When you’re anxious, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that stimulate your digestive system,” explains Yuri Saito, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The result: You experience more gas, bloating, and even the runs. Compounding matters, stress causes many people to overeat or eat the “wrong” things, Dr. Saito notes, adding extra fuel to their overstimulated digestive system. If you can’t eliminate the stressful circumstance, you may be able to manage it through cognitive behavior therapy or hypnotherapy; these two mind-body techniques are surprisingly effective in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including bloating, a 2009 Canadian review found. Meditation or simple mindful breathing can also offer some relief. Practice it at home for a few minutes every day: Sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose for a count of 10. Focus on breathing deep and sitting tall. Exhale through your mouth in a controlled, purposeful fashion for 10 counts. Repeat 10 times.
Fine-tune your fiber.
A lot of cereals are advertised as being high in fiber, which should be good for your digestive system, right? Not always. Certain products add fiber in the form of chicory root, or inulin, which is harder to digest, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, a wellness manager for the Cleveland Clinic Lifestyle 180 program. In fact, people who eat large amounts of inulin (10 grams) at one time end up experiencing more gas and bloating than those who eat less, researchers at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul found. Your best bet: Get your fiber from fruits and vegetables and whole-grain rice, pasta, and bread rather than from packaged high-fiber products. And check the labels on your favorite cereals, cookies, and granola bars: If they contain chicory fiber, they most likely have inulin.
In: Exercise, Fitness, Health
Consuming adequate amounts of calcium each day is no doubt right at the top of your priority list, just behind cleaning out the refrigerator and organizing your sock drawer. But beyond strengthening bones, calcium may help your heart and even your waistline―and there are a slew of easy ways to introduce more of it into your diet and reap its rewards. If only sorting out that sock drawer were so simple.
All About Calcium
What it is: The most abundant mineral in your body; women carry about 2½ pounds’ worth. Ninety-nine percent of it is in your bones and teeth; the rest resides in your muscles, tissues, and body fluids. In nature, calcium is the chalky substance found in rocks, such as marble.
What it does: Calcium’s best-known role is that of a bone builder, helping to prevent osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease that afflicts about 8 million women in the United States, and osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. But its lesser-known benefits are just as important. “It’s used by every cell and tissue in the body,” says Robert Heaney, M.D., a professor of medicine at Creighton University, in Omaha. For example, it helps muscles contract, including those you use consciously (like your biceps) and those you use unconsciously (like your heart). Some research has shown that consuming calcium helps your heart and waistline, too. A 2008 study at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that getting enough calcium may be associated with a lower risk of hypertension in adult women. And researchers at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, found that people who get their recommended daily allowance of calcium through dairy products may burn fat faster than people who don’t. What’s more, a new study from the National Institutes of Health suggests that adults with an adequate calcium intake may have a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
How much you need: One thousand to 1,200 milligrams a day for adults. Pregnant women need only 1,000 milligrams, because their bodies are more efficient at absorbing calcium. As you age, your body becomes less adept at absorbing the mineral. So once you reach age 51 or menopause, aim for a minimum of 1,200 milligrams. (Note: Although 2,500 milligrams a day is considered as high as you should go, your body excretes any calcium it can’t use. However, too much may tax the kidneys.)
How much you get: Probably not enough. About 75 percent of American women don’t meet their daily requirement. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average woman age 20 or over consumes 858 milligrams a day.
The best places to find it: Dairy products. A cup of nonfat milk has 302 milligrams, and a cup of low-fat yogurt has 245 to 415. If you don’t consume much dairy, other foods can help. Three ounces of canned sardines (with bones) in oil packs 324 milligrams, a cup of cooked kale has 94 milligrams, and a cup of raw broccoli has 42 milligrams. Practically speaking, if you have a cup of nonfat milk over cereal at breakfast, a cup of low-fat yogurt as a snack, a spinach salad for lunch, a cup of cooked broccoli with dinner, and half a cup of low-fat ice cream for dessert, you meet your daily requirement.
Other less expected sources: You can also fill up on fortified breakfast cereals, fortified juices, and many soy products, including tofu. If you swap your regular six-ounce glass of orange juice for one with added calcium, say, you’ll get at least 200 milligrams in a few gulps. Another option: Add nonfat powdered milk to smoothies, soups, casseroles, and puddings. A third of a cup can give you more than 30 percent of what you need each day.
What helps your body absorb it: Vitamin D. The easiest way to get your recommended daily allowance of 400 international units (I.U.) is to spend 10 to 15 minutes outdoors two to three times a week (your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight). Or take a 400 I.U. supplement each day.
What causes your body to lose it: Sodium, by way of salt intake, is the biggest dietary offender, says Connie Weaver, Ph.D., a professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. As it passes through your body, sodium takes calcium out with it. Also, some foods, like sweet potatoes and beans, contain acids that adversely affect how well the body absorbs the calcium in those foods. Calcium itself inhibits the body’s absorption of iron, so avoid consuming calcium- and iron-rich foods in the same meal.
How to tell if you’re getting enough: There are no early signs that you’re calcium deficient (those white spots on nails aren’t related). And when late signs, such as fractures, show up, you’ve already lost significant bone mass. The best way to know if you’re consuming enough is to track your diet for a few days. And if you have a family history of osteoporosis, ask your doctor about a bone-density scan, which can indicate the beginnings of bone loss.
When to take a supplement: If you know you’re lacking or if you’re on a low-calorie diet, consider supplements. They usually contain calcium citrate or calcium carbonate. Both are used equally well by the body, but calcium carbonate is best absorbed when taken with a meal; calcium citrate can be taken with or without food. Pills and flavored chews are as effective as food, says Weaver. Pick one with 500 milligrams of either form of calcium and at least 400 I.U. of vitamin D, and space out the doses (one in the morning, one in the afternoon). Or take two antacid tablets a day. One regular-strength Tums contains 500 milligrams of calcium carbonate at about half the cost of a supplement.