Archive for the ‘sports’ Category


Boston

This is probably the most depressing blog topics that I have written about in two years. As many of you are aware, two explosives were detonated at the finish line during the Boston Marathon today 04/15/2013. I am not writing this blog to report the news and give you politics or the facts, however I am writing this to express my condolences to those that are no longer with us and those who are severely injured. All of our prayers and thoughts at LJay Health goes out to families of the victims, the Boston community, running family and the nation as a whole.

The Boston Marathon is like the Super Bowl for many runners and everyone works very hard to get there. Unfortunately the glory and victory was taken away from the athletes who ran the marathon today. Who would have ever thought that someone would intentionally plant explosive devices at a marathon, it definitely caught everyone off guard.

I have ran 5 marathons to date, 30 miles this past Sunday and running the Boston marathon was in my future. Considering the events that happened today, I am not really sure how I feel at this point in time. It is really a heart felt moment for myself and millions of other people. It is important that we not live in fear but to be very cautious in everything we do.

One thing that we can take away from this tragedy is to remember to cherish life and be there for one another. I want to leave you with a quote that I was inspired by especially after today.

Live, Love, and cherish Life. Make friends, memories, and plans. Your life is about you, but life is not about you. Fall in love. Love the fall and winter and spring and summer. Ski, skate, sing and dance. Smell the rain and the chocolate chip cookies. Take all the time you need, but don’t waste it. Catch the big one with your dad. Go on a trip with your mom. Love children, for you were once one. Learn from your elders, and one day you’ll have their wisdom. Seek the truth. Find it in yourself, others, and in your faith. Be patient and gentle. Most of all truly live.

Leave a comment and let me know how you are feeling even if its just to vent.

 


Xmas photoMerry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and your families! This has been a fun and exciting year and I wanted to express that I am really happy to have all of you in my fitness and health community. It really means alot to know that I can and have inspired so many across the globe and can help people accomplish challenges they didn’t think were possible.

I made a post on 2013 goals and it was great to see that many of you have come so far and want to achieve so much in the future. Just know that you can accomplish anything you dedicate yourself to. Remember to have a positive support group, patience, and don’t let anyone hold you back. Its your life and you deserve it to yourself to live it to the best possible. Make 2013 your year and shoot for the **STARS**

Thanks again for supporting and promoting the blog! I appreciate every single comment posted even If for some reason I don’t respond. Truly means alot!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Sincerely,

LJAY HEALTH


Miami marathon

I am slowly gearing up for the ING Miami Marathon. This will be my 2nd full marathon (26.2 miles) and I am excited about the awesome scenic route of Miami. I think that this will be a great way to start the New Year and set the expectation for my 2013 race year. I have 8 weeks left until the big day Sunday, January 27, 2013. My training schedule includes 4 runs a week in which Saturday’s are my long runs consisting of 14+ miles. I am using a running plan by http://www.runnersworld.com/training-plans/marathon-training-plans.

Goals: My goals for the race is to finish in 3 hours and 30 minutes, and to drop to race weight which is about 10lbs I will need to lose in 8 weeks. Losing the additional weight will help my body last longer and relieve the stress on knees and legs during the long distance.

The Course: The race will start in downtown Miami (Biscayne Bay) and then head over the first Causeway (2 miles) unto South and Miami Beach. After running on South Beach runners will head back over the Causeway (2 miles)back into downtown Miami and then all the way down into Coconut Grove and turn around heading to the finish line.

INGMiamiCourse07

Miami_beach1

Participants: This year (2012) there were almost 4,000 marathoners and over 16,000 half marathoners. With that being said, they are expecting an even bigger turnout for 2013 since ING NY Marathon was cancelled. Runners will be coming from all over the world to run this race and mingle with other runners.

Recommendation for 1st time marathoners: My best advice to prospective marathoners looking to run a marathon is to be consistent with training and put in the time. Nutrition is equally important and both go hand and hand. If you have a marathon training schedule you should try and follow it as much as possible but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Also, please please please listen to your body and avoid injuring yourself.

If you are thinking about registering or want to know more about the race there is still time to sign up and I am including the link to the website: http://www.ingmiamimarathon.com/

Ill be sure to let you know how the race goes! To keep up to date with my training and day to day prep, follow me on Facebook or Twitter @ljayhealth. Both links are also found on the left side of this page!


 

There are many gyms to choose from when looking for a fitness home. Fitness giants like; LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Bailey Powerhouse, and World’s Gym are just a few that dominate the market. People are now joining Crossfit gyms which I love, building home gyms and working out in the fitness clubhouse where they live.

Most gyms offer a plethora of amenities like swimming pools, yoga classes, basketball courts, saunas, tanning beds, free weights and cardio machines. Ultimately when choosing your gym you pick the one where you will have the most benefit and of course the one that is closest to your home or work.

 What gym are you apart of and what do you like most about that gym? What keeps you there? What amenities or classes do you frequently take advantage of?

I am currently not apart of any gym but have been in the past. I mainly do workouts at home, in the parks or run in the neighborhood. However when the weather starts to get colder I may be joining a gym again haha. What keeps me working out at home is the convenience of being able to just wake up and get a workout in and not worrying about how long it will take someone to finish using a machine.

Next year (2013) I am planning to take a tour to some of the biggest and best gyms in the country and will also be going to some Crossfit gyms too. I will then write an article of each gym I visited and what I found best about it.

Please share with me and others details about your gym and why you decided to join..Thanks—LJAY HEALTH


I was doing some research and came across an article on McDonalds and thought to myself “When was the last time I ate there”? Thankfully I could not remember the last time I ate fast food at all. It seems like everywhere you go there is a McDonalds restaurant on the corner. Now they are in hospitals, colleges, airports, and even churches.

I remember watching a documentary Super Size Me and it was very interesting but sad of all the negative health effects that Morgan Spurlock developed just by eating fast food all those times, not to mention all the weight he gained as well. He put his health on the line just to educate and demonstrate how our bodies react to these foods. If you haven’t seen the documentary I highly recommend it.

Fast food costs are inexpensive and tastes very good, but the negative effects on physical health last much longer. With the high-calorie meals come more fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar — and therefore fewer vitamins, minerals and other nutrients — than in healthier foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that these eating habits create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity alone can severely limit lifestyles and shorten life spans.

Fast food can be the biggest contributer to obesity. Fast foods are loaded with fat and calories. Ordering without limits may have negative effects on your health and weight. Hamburgers with multiple  patties, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise may exceed the 65mg fat limit recommended by the USDA for the whole day.

Many drive-through foods and drinks have high sugar content, including milkshakes, 62g of sugar, and colas, 44g, in 16-oz. servings as per the USDA. Fast foods contain high amounts of cholesterol and salt, two nutrients that contribute to cardiovascular health problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a direct link between sodium intake and negative effects on blood pressure, and note that Americans consume most of their sodium in processed and restaurant foods.

What have fast food companies done to make things better?

Fast food companies are developing healthier options to meet the desires of healthier consumer needs.. Many fast food chains now offer healthy options including low-fat, low calorie foods; fresh foods; bottled water; and salads made with fruits and vegetables. Some stand-outs in fast food nutrition include low-fat salads and sandwiches and grilled chicken.

Other healthier options have been added to many fast food menus. Low-fat yogurt, fruit cups and wheat buns can replace some of the higher fat and lower fiber meal options. However, these healthy choices have the ability to take a wrong turn when mixed with unhealthy selections, such as fried chicken and high-fat dressing on the salads, cookies, candies or high-sugar granola mixed into the yogurt or whipped toppings on the fruit. Stick with the food in its most natural form to get the highest nutritional benefit from it.

Thanks for reading LJAY HEALTH

References
USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sodium Fact Sheet
USDA: Nutrient Database
AHA: Eating Fast Food
Office of the Surgeon General: Overweight Consequences

 


Whether it’s running, swimming , cycling or crossfit, athletes need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet to fuel the body. Good nutrition, like any workout, has some general rules and concepts. I don’t know about you but my body needs the energy before, during and after my fitness events.

What diet is ideal for athletes?
Athletes need a diet that provides enough energy in the form of carbohydrates and fats as well as essential protein, vitamins and minerals. This means a diet containing 55-60 percent of calories from carbohydrates (10 to 15 percent from sugars and the rest from starches), no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and the remaining (about 10-15 percent) from protein.

That translates into eating a range of different foods every day – grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, lean meats, and low fat dairy products. The base of the diet should come from carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars. Water is very important to prevent dehydration as dehydration can stop even the finest athlete from performing their absolute best.

Are Carbohydrates Important for Athletes?
When starches or sugars are eaten, the body changes them all to glucose, the only form of carbohydrate used directly by muscles for energy. Whether carbohydrates are in the form of starches (in vegetables and grains), sucrose (table sugar), fructose (found in fruits and juices) or lactose (milk sugar), carbohydrates are digested and ultimately changed to glucose.
The body uses this glucose in the blood for energy. Most glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. During exercise glycogen is broken down in the muscles and provides energy.

Usually there is enough glycogen in muscles to provide fuel for 90-120 minutes of exercise. Most exercise and sport games do not use up glycogen stores so eating carbohydrates during the activity usually isn’t needed. But for some athletes, eating or drinking carbohydrates during exercise helps maintain their blood glucose and energy levels. Most athletes need not be concerned with “carbohydrate loading,” the special technique of eating a lot of carbohydrates for several days before an endurance event (Im sure you all have heard about it) :). Instead, focus on getting enough carbohydrates everyday. The best way to ensure plenty of energy for exercise is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat with lots of different foods.

Do athletes need extra protein or protein supplements to build muscles?

No. Muscles develop from training and exercise. A certain amount of protein is needed to help build the muscles but a nutritious, balanced diet that includes two or three servings from the meat/bean/egg group (6-7 ounces total) and two to three servings of dairy daily will supply all of the protein that the muscles need. Extra servings of protein in foods or protein supplements do not assist in muscle development. Unlike carbohydrates, protein cannot be stored in the body and any excess will be burned for energy or stored as body fat.

What should an athlete eat before, during and after exercise?
The most important thing is to concentrate on eating a nutritious, balanced diet every day. This provides plenty of energy to grow and exercise. Here are a few tips on eating before, during and after exercise. I am sure to follow these recommendations especially when I am training for an event. :)

Before

Have some high carbohydrate foods like bananas, bagels or fruit juices. These foods are broken down quickly and provide glucose to the muscles.  The timing of this meal depends on athletes’ preference for eating before exercise, but
researchers have found that eating something from 1 to 4 hours before exercise helps keep plenty of blood glucose available for working muscles. It is also critical to drink plenty of cool water before exercise to keep muscles hydrated.

During
Perspiration and exertion deplete the body of fluids necessary for an optimal performance and lead to dehydration. It is important to drink plenty of cool water, at least a half a cup of water every 20 minutes of exercise.
Usually there is no need to worry about replacing carbohydrates unless the exercise lasts over 90 minutes and is hard and continuous. When this happens, drinking a sports drink or other beverage with some sugar in it will fuel and water to the muscles being exercised.

After
If the exercise was strenuous and lasted a while, glycogen stores may need refueling. Consuming foods and beverages high in carbohydrates right after exercise will replenish glycogen stores if they are low after exercising. No matter the intensity of the exercise, it’s important to drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious, balanced meal that has lots of carbohydrate rich foods such as grains, pastas, potatoes,vegetables and fruits.

Thanks for reading -LJAY HEALTH

Information from this post was gathered from http://www.fitness.gov/nutrition


What do you do when you have goals and you reach them? Do you make new goals for yourself or do you stay content with where you are? But aren’t there limits and if so how do we know how far to go or when enough is enough. Some people are content with where they are in life and others are constantly trying to keep up with everyone and even try to become number 1.

I myself have set goals constantly especially when it came to running. At first I told myself that I would run a 5k race and then I told myself I would run a 15k, then a half marathon. But do I stop here or do I train to run a full marathon. I wonder if I would set to do a triathlon after I complete my full marathon. Sounds like alot huh. How much is enough??

Knowing your limits and challenging yourself are two different things in my opinion. I know that I can only do so many reps of deadlifts at a certain weight and If I tried to do more I could possibly hurt myself. I know my limits. Setting challenges for yourself is training for a 5k, 15k, half marathon and so forth or setting to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

Everyone is different and we should not try and live our lives or workout a certain way because someone else is. Do what works for you and listen to your body. I know so many athletes who injure themselves because they try and keep up with the next person. Make small goals in order to get to the big goal! 

We all have limits but setting realistic goals for yourself will help you stay injury free and keep you healthy mentally. We all have to run our own race and no one else can do it for us. Work hard, eat good, sleep well helps to make a stronger you.

Are limits a good thing or bad thing? Respond back with your take on this topic.

Thanks for reading LJAY HEALTH


Have you been watching the 2012 Olympics? What is your favorite sport to watch and why? I personally like track and field, rowing and crew. Track and field always amazes me because It brings to light how fast a human can really run. The women and men are extremely fast! You have women like Shelly Pryce from Jamaica who won the 100m sprint title in 10.75 seconds and  Mohamed Farah from Great Britain who won the mens 10,000 meter run (6.2 miles) in 27 min and 30 seconds.

It is very inspiring to watch theses athletes compete, also very encouraging because of the dedication that they take when training all day everyday to be the best they can be. If I could be in the Olympics I would compete in Track and Field preferably the 10,000 meter run because I like running long distances. What about you? (Answer the poll below)

It is so easy to get caught up in watching the Olympics while sitting on the couch :) I sometimes workout in the gym and watch the Olympics while running on the treadmill or working out on the Elliptical etc.


There can be some confusion when it comes to choosing whole wheat or whole grain and the differences between the two. Whole grain and whole wheat look very similar. Sometimes I cannot tell the difference between the two without tasting them. Whole grain has a richer taste than whole wheat does. Whole grain has a more darker texture than whole wheat does.

One of the main differences between whole wheat and whole grain is the process used to prepare the grain flour. With whole-wheat flour, the grain has gone through a refining process that has removed some of the nutritional value . However, whole-grain flour does not go through this refining process, and maintains the natural level of nutrients.

I have done some research and created a chart which distinguish both at a glance.

All in all, in my opinion Whole Grain bread wins in this battle. Some may argue, however eating any food that hasn’t gone through a refining process is always better over processed food in my eye. Also for those who want to try and minimize sugar spikes will choose whole grains over whole wheat.

Thanks for reading as always! -LJAY HEALTH 


Training for my first Marathon (26.2 miles) is probably the toughest fitness challenge I have endured so far. With a customized training schedule and busy work and school life makes it difficult to train consistently. The other day I did about 11 easy miles at a 9:45 pace rate and will do 15 miles tomorrow. Sometimes the next day after a long run my muscles are sore and the training schedule calls for another run. During training, you need a good pair of running shoes, mileage and pace tracker device,  tons of water, vitamins, nutrients from foods, sleep, sleep, sleep and of course MOTIVATION.

The Marine Corp Marathon is held in Washinton DC on Oct 28, 2012. The race is currently sold out with over 30,000 runners racing from all over the world. The course consist of beautiful views of the city of DC and monuments. There is one major hill with an elevation of about 200 feet and a mile long. Therefore I have been doing a ton of hill runs to prep for the race.

My goal is to finish in under 4 hours and to maintain a pace rate of at least 9:00-9:25.  I bought some new Mizuno running shoes and they feel great. After training in these shoes, I plan to purchase another pair to run the Marathon in.

With alot of Cross training incorporated into my running plan, I am sure that I will finish within my goal speed and time.  I currently weight 192lbs and in which I need to get down to at least 180-185lbs before the race to help increase my speed.

Training for a race can be very time consuming but very rewarding once you have accomplished it. There was no other feeling that I can describe when I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon!

I realized now when I am training or even at a race that it is all mental. The pain is only temporary. With a good pair of headphones and some good music I can run all day now.

Its always good to have a running partner for motivation. I am running the MCM by myself, so If you are too let me know and maybe we can run together.

As time gets closer, I will keep you updated on how the training is going. If you are also training for MCM or another race let me know what you are doing to train and how the progress is going.

Thanks for reading! -LJAY HEALTH