Category Archives: Uncategorized

2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials TV Coverage

So excited for this! For the first time ever, NBC is going to do a live broadcast of the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials!

Coverage will start this Saturday at 1pm EST (11am MST). See complete details here.

I am so happy to hear they are giving this event the coverage it deserves. These athletes are some of the hardest working, most talented athletes I’ve ever met. I trained with Meb, Abdi and Deena in San Diego back when I was competing. They are genuine, welcoming, down to earth and so positive.

Can’t wait to tune in. I’m so excited to cheer them on and wish them the very, very best on Saturday! Do not miss this!

Kit & Ace Black Friday Sale Picks and Reviews 2015-2016

After scoping out the Kit & Ace Black Friday sale back in December, I put my Lululemon obsession on the back burner for a bit. Kit & Ace added a ton of stuff to their ‘The Last of It’ (sale) section at incredibly discounted prices on Black Friday – and they’ve continued to add new products to it each week, and well into January so far.

I have repeatedly taken advantage of these deals, ordering quite a few new items to try and coming back for more.

If you’re new to Kit and Ace, you’re in for a treat. They specialize in ‘technical cashmere’ – cashmere fabrics or cashmere blends that are washable, incredibly soft and super high quality.

At their sale prices, these pieces are a complete STEAL. Considering how much I loved my items when they arrived, I almost can’t believe I got them at such a low price point. I can genuinely say I’m obsessed.

After over a month of trying everything out, here are my picks and recommendations of ‘what to get’ from the sale:

EMORY BRUSHED DRESS

$98 (Regularly $188)

Kit and Ace Emory Brushed Dress in Black ShineAthletic.com

This gorgeous little number is flattering, super soft and is versatile enough to work for so many different occasions. Dress it up or down. Heels, flip flops or athletic flats, this dress will take you from date night, to casual Saturdays, to the beach, and back again.

It comes in Black and Heathered Grey.

HURON LONG SLEEVE

$38 (Regularly $98)

Kit and Ace Huron Long Sleeve in Heathered Grey ShineAthletic.com

My favorite. It is SO soft. Light, stretchy and oh so comfy. It is the first top I’ve found that really does cover your bum (front and back), but is still form fitting and sexy. I am in love with the ruching along the sides.

I started with one, just to make sure I had the correct size. I was immediately in love and ordered a few more. I ordered the same size I wear in Lulu Swiftlies and it fit perfect. Some people did say they went down a size. I think you could get away with sizing down on this one, but I preferred to stay true to size.

I like this top way more than my previous fav, the Lululemon Devotion Long Sleeve Tee, which has been discontinued anyway. Since Lulu hasn’t really come out with a soft, fitted, Vitasea long sleeve top to replace the Devotion LS, I often wear their LS Swiftlies casually. Although I do like the Swiftly for running, when it comes to casual wear, the Huron Long Sleeve takes the cake. Easily.

I had a couple Swiftlies that I hadn’t worn yet and I headed straight back to the store to return them. (I already had a few that I use as running tops, and had only purchased these colors for casual wear). At $28 and $38 on sale, Hurons and Veras (see below) are nearly 1/3 the price of a Swiftly, and I like them SO much more. Who wouldn’t want to have 2 or 3 Veras or Hurons as opposed to just one Swiftly. 🙂 Sign me up for that!

VERA LONG SLEEVE

$28 (Regularly $98)

Kit and Ace Vera Long Sleeve Tee Black ShineAthletic.com

Just like the Huron Long Sleeve, but with a deeper scoop neck. This one definitely runs true to size (runs ever so slightly smaller than the Huron). Ditto to everything else I said above. It’s amazing.

These also come in more colors than the Huron, and I see more colors being added at the sale price weekly.

CLAIRE TANK

$48 (Regularly $118)

Kit and Ace Claire Tank in White ShineAthletic.com

Adorable. This tank is a beautiful wool, silk and cashmere blend top. Pair it with leggings or jeans on a warm, breezy day. It can even double as a cooler weather beach cover up. One of our favorite Kit and Ace designs to date. It comes in White, Heather Grey and Black.

GRACE TEE

$48 (Regularly $88)

Kit and Ace Grace Tee in Fog ShineAthletic.com

The same, amazing cashmere blend fabric as the Huron and Vera Tees, but in a darling, low scoop back, elbow length tee. At it’s current sale price, it’s not quite as stellar of a deal as some of the other products, but it was definitely our favorite design of the regular-waist-length tees.

FLORES TANK

$18 (Regularly $58)

Kit and Ace Flores Tank Chambray Melange ShineAthletic.com

This one is also oh so soft, but has a bit more of a substantial feel to it. Still stretchy and springy, this one feels so soft and cottony against your skin.

I ordered the Chambray Melange color and am in love. It also comes in Heathered Grey. I would definitely order your true to size and not size down.

At $18, I will buy this again and again. Feels amazing for both casual wear and the gym.

MARA TANK

$18 (Regularly $48)

Kit and Ace Mara Tank in Spectra ShineAthletic.com

Same material as the Huron, Vera and Grace Tees, but in a soft, light tank. This style offers a little more coverage on the shoulder line than a traditional tank, making it a chic piece to wear out and about and not just at the gym. Again, at $18, for a luxe, washable, cashmere blend top, I almost feel guilty I’m not paying more. Almost.

Overall, Kit and Ace’s sale has been a gold mine. I’ve definitely found a new obsession, albeit only at their sale prices. I don’t think I could get myself to pay full price just yet. I will keep you posted. 🙂

Did any of you get anything from the sale?

Today was a little stressful. I was wanting to get all the final prices on all of the potential wedding venues today so that we could make a final decision, but we didn’t really make as much progress as I hoped. I still feel so up in the air on all of that stuff. I just want to have the date and location figured out.

I was feeling bummed out, but then I talked to J and he just made me feel like a million dollars. He is so good at calming me and making me feel better. He treats me the way I’ve always wanted to be treated.

Wedding Venue Search in San Diego

Day 1

We took off on Wednesday at about 10am. Jason came by to pick me up and had picked up french toast from Kneaders for breakfast for me! One of my favorites.

We drove all the way down to San Diego, hardly even listening to any music and only taking a couple very quick stops. It flew by. We talked and just hung out. I can’t believe how fast it all went.

We tried to solve the riddle for that treasure hidden in the mountains north of Santa Fe. I started looking things up online and looking at Google Earth for clues. 🙂

Once we got to San Diego, we stopped by quite a few places before it was too late in the evening.

Day 2

We saw SO many places today! The Navy Lodge, The Dana, etc.

Day 3

We saw more places today.

Day 4

Iceland: Northern Lights Tour

“This guy is a viking! A straight up Viking!”

“This is really good!
Huh?
The soup, it is really good.
Thank you.
What do you call it?
Huh?
What do you call this soup?
Juss ‘chicken soup’.”

“Ahhhh yes, Lief the Lucky!”

“And that is the day the last of the little Yule Lads goes back to his home.”

Goodbye North Carolina

Flew to NC on Sunday, came home Saturday.

Best workout trip since I’ve been dating Jason. Worked out every day, super hard. Felt so good! I’m going to kind of miss the Special Forces gym.

Jason: “Where do you want to eat? There’s Texas Roadhouse, Thai Food, Fazoli’s, Jersey Mike’s, and…”
Me: “Hmmm I don’t know… are you feeling like any of those?”
Jason: “Hmmm I don’t know…”
“Oh, there’s PDQ. They have fresh tenders and sandwiches”
Me: “Fresh tenders? Like fresh chicken tenders?”
Jason: “Ya”
Me: “Done.”
Jason: “Done.”
Me: “Yayyyy… fresh tenders”

Never in my life have I had such delish chicken fingers. We ate there once a day for the rest of the trip.

Oh, and PDQ cookies: !!!

PDQ, please come to whatever city I decide to live in next.

Diamonds

“Everybody wants to be a diamond, but very few are willing to get cut.”
Unknown

The goal in life is not to win, it’s to use every ounce of our beings to become as much like God as possible. Rising above our challenges and becoming as highly developed and refined as possible.

“Challenges can bring you closer to God, and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision as to which road you take.”

– Elder Busche

How to Interact with Introverts

I definitely have both an extroverted and introverted side to me. When it comes to the introverted side, I can definitely relate to this infographic. It made me laugh. I hope it makes you laugh too… or at least helps you understand the introverts in your life a little better. 🙂

How to Interact with Introverts ShineAthletic.com

All These Things That I’ve Done

“When there’s no where else to run…”

All These Things I’ve Done, by the Killers is at the top of our workout playlist right now. It’s especially motivating if you’ve seen this Nike Commercial featuring the song:

This commercial aired during the 2008 Summer Olympics and is considered by many to be one of the greatest Nike ads of all time.

“Everything You Need is Already Inside”

Stay updated on our latest playlists to help give you inspiration during your next gym sesh.

Joey Turns Three

I was oh so excited to send Joe this little gift. I called Pete and he said lately Joe has really liked coloring and stickers, so I got him a little Elmo coloring and activity book, some Sesame Street and Cars stickers and three little boxes of crayons. They each had special colors – Dinosaur, Sports and Pirate themed colors.

Joey is the cutest little guy – I just love him so much. He has the cutest little flirty personality – I can’t even stand how cute he is. 🙂

picture 1

Here’s a picture Jess sent me of Joey coloring and eating his m&m’s. 🙂

picture 2

Trip to Michigan with Mom

Mom and I decided to go to Michigan to visit Pete and Jess and the boys. So much fun! Pete, Mom and I went to a Michigan basketball game.

It was also Dan’s birthday coming up and so Mom took him to choose some shoes and get a treat. (She does this with each grandchild for their birthday.) Usually, she’ll take them to a bakery or a little cafe and they’ll get to pick out a doughnut or a cupcake or something. When she asked Dan which treat he wanted, he pointed to a big cake hahahah. Mom said “are you sure you don’t want something smaller like this cupcake or something?” and he said “No, I want that one!” Hhahaha. So cute. Dan wasn’t choosing that cake to be greedy – he picked it because he wanted to bring it home and share it with his brothers. Melt my heart. I love that little Dan.

I also planned a special Valentine’s treasure hunt for the boys. I got some red yarn and strung it ALL around their house. And then back around the house. About three times. 🙂 It went upstairs and down to the basement and around the main floor, and then upstairs again, etc. The strings crossed and were hidden behind drawers and furniture in some spots (I was trying to make it extra tricky), so they had to follow it very closely to avoid getting on the wrong section of string. I hid the final treats in the piano bench – candy buttons, brownie mix and .

We also went to the Children’s Museum in Boston. So cool! The kids loved it – almost as much as me. 🙂

In the top section, there was a room full of red foam bricks. I built a castle around John:

And then Dan (you can see him, barely, through that little window).

Joey was also learning how to count (very high) and was excited about it.

Text from Today :)

Life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens fora reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. God never said life would be easy, He just promised it would be worth it.

All About Abs: Everything You Need to Know About Abdominal Exercises & Workouts

Getting perfect abs is nothing short of an obsession for many people. Tons of programs, products and gimmicks promise “six pack abs” by confusing and misleading consumers. The right ab workouts can help, but in the end, there is only one way to get the abs you want! You need a consistent, effective workout program that will help you burn fat and tone your abs. When it comes to abdominal workouts, here are the most essential things to know:

TARGET ALL FOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLE GROUPS

One mistake many people make is to only work one or two sections of their abdominal muscles. There are FOUR layers of muscles in your abs! You need to work each layer/muscle group to effectively tone your abs.

Abdominal Exercises
  • Rectus Abdominis – This is the “six pack” muscle. This paired muscle runs from the front of your ribs down to your pelvis. This the muscle referred to when people say “upper abs” or “lower abs”, but it is actually one big muscle – of which different areas can be targeted. Typical “ab workouts” usually focus on this muscle.
  • External Oblique – The external obliques are the muscles that run along the sides of your ribcage, on each side of the rectus abdominis. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist – contracting one of your external obliques twists your body to the opposite side. For example, contracting the right external oblique will turn the body to the left.
  • Internal Oblique – Your internal obliques are located just inside your hip bones – just below the external obliques. They work in the exact opposite way as the external oblique muscles. When you do a twisting motion, one external oblique contracts while the opposite side’s internal oblique contracts. For example, twisting or crunching the trunk to the left requires the left internal oblique and the right external oblique to contract together.
  • Transverse Abdominis – The transverse abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle layer. The muscle reaches from each side of your lower abdomen towards the middle. It is primarily responsible for stabilizing your trunk and maintaining internal abdominal pressure. This muscle is especially worked when you do stabilization exercises like planks or other similar ab exercises.
Abdominal Exercises

VARY YOUR AB ROUTINE

In addition to working all four layers of your abs, you also need to change up your ab routine so that your muscles are continually being challenged. If you do the exact same ab exercises for weeks on end, your muscles will adapt and plateau – and you will miss out on some of the benefits of your training program.

QUALITY VS. QUANTITY

Have you ever heard someone brag about how they do 800 crunches/situps every day? You do not need to do anywhere near hundreds of reps! You will actually see better results by doing fewer repetitions of the right exercises with correct form.

When it comes to number of reps when weight training, the same rules apply to ab workouts. For longer, leaner muscle, you should do more reps (we’re talking sets of 12, 20, or sets of 30 seconds… not sets of 800!), and for building size (and deeper cuts), you should do fewer reps with more weight resistance (ie: sets of 5 or 8). An exception to this rule is for stability exercises, such as planks, where you will hold a single position for anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes.

And, just like other muscle groups, you shouldn’t train your abdominal muscles every day – which brings me to my next point:

TAKE TIME TO RECOVER

Your ab muscles are just like any other muscle – they need to be worked hard, and then given adequate time to rebuild and recover before then next workout. Depending on how hard your muscles are worked – as well as whether you are focusing on strength or endurance – you will need anywhere from 36 hours to 2 or 3 days recovery time between workouts.

And finally, (but most importantly)…

BURN FAT!

Most people focus only on doing tons of crunches and other abdominal exercises in an effort to get flat, defined abs. What many people don’t realize is that no matter how many crunches, situps or other ab exercises you do, you will never see improved definition unless you can minimize the layer of fat that covers your abdominal muscles. The muscles are already there – the key is getting to the point where you can see them! Yes, ab exercises can help improve muscle strength and tone, but burning fat is more effective BY FAR when it comes to overall improvement in the look of your midsection.

When it comes to burning fat, remember that there is no such thing as spot reduction! There just isn’t! This isn’t what most people want to hear, but it’s simply a fact. No product, ab workout or ab exercise alone will make you lose inches solely from your waist – so when someone tries to convince you otherwise, don’t fall for it! The bottom line is that in order to gain greater definition in your abs, you need to have a fitness program that will help you burn overall body fat. In order to burn fat most effectively, your fitness program needs to include regular cardiovascular exercise AND strength training – stay tuned for our next post, which will explain why both are so important! Pair that with healthy, well-balanced eating habits, and you are well on your way to effectively burning fat – and getting flatter, tighter abs.

SO…
Following these tips will help you to get the best results possible. In addition to great looking abs, you’ll enjoy other benefits as well. Stronger abs can make a huge difference in your posture and overall core strength, and can also improve your form and effectiveness during other weight training exercises. Minimizing excessive body fat will not only make a huge difference in your abs, but will also improve the rest of your body. Training your body the right way will allow you to get the abs you want and improve your overall health.

‘Fruits and Veggies – More Matters’ Month

September is national Fruits & Veggies – More Matters month! During this month, everyone is encouraged to make a special effort to get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. According to the Fruits & Veggies – More Matters website, over 90 percent of adults and children don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Um.. wow! Ninety percent is a lot!

One of the main reasons many of us don’t get enough is because our lives are fast-paced, and most of us tend to eat on the go. Since fruit and vegetables usually require some degree of extra effort when preparing meals, and are sometimes unavailable when we eat out, they’re usually the first thing to get left out when we’re in a rush. I know how hard it is to get enough fruit and vegetables everyday, especially when you’re busy! But here are a few ideas to help you out:

  • Buy easy-to-pack fruit like oranges, apples, etc. so that you can have fruit to take with you when you’re on the go.
  • Also try buying dried fruit next time you shop. (All fruit, whether it’s dried, frozen, fresh or in juice, counts toward your daily serving requirements!) And dried fruit is great because it doesn’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit. So even if you don’t have time to get to the store as often as you’d like. Dried fruit can also be sprinkled over cereal in the morning, which takes a few extra seconds, but gets you that much closer to the recommended servings of fruit and veggies per day.
  • Keep a bag of frozen fruit in your freezer. My roommates and I like frozen peaches! They’re actually GOOD! 🙂 They’re also a quick, refreshing snack in the summer and are low calorie as well. Does it get any better?
  • Smoothies and juices are also a great way to get extra servings of fruit (and even vegetables). If you don’t have time to fix a big breakfast or lunch at home, choose to grab a smoothie or fruit juice when you do stop for a snack. You can down it in the car without having to stop to sit down and eat.
  • Pile on the veggies when you make or order a sandwich! This might require a mere extra five seconds… (which I would bet even the busiest people probably can afford) 🙂
  • Bring a V8, V8 Splash, or another vegetable juice with you to replace your usual soda or snack while you’re at work. You could even bring a veggie juice to have at lunch. And many vegetable juices are available in a diet or low calorie option as well.

This month is a great time for all of us to pay extra attention to our nutrition and eating habits. Eating more fruits and veggies is one of the most important parts of maintaining a well-balanced diet. Make a special effort this September and let us know how it goes!

2007 Nike Marathon Results

The fourth annual Nike Marathon Women’s Marathon took place today! The official race results are now live! You can find the complete list here!

The marathon has been taking place since 2004 and gives women everywhere a chance to come together, accomplish something and support a very good cuase. The theme of this year’s marathon is “run together”. The marathon benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Read more:

As a participant in The Nike Women’s Marathon, your race goes way beyond the finish line. This race benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research education and patient services. The Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Over the years, the Society has provided more than $424 Million for research specifically targeting blood cancers. This means that as you complete your marathon, you’ll also be having a positive effect on thousands of people battling cancer.

Last year, (October 22, 2006) there were 3,974 finishers in all – 237 males and 3737 females. The average finish time was 5 hours 15 minutes and 33 seconds. The fastest male finished in 2:43:19 and the fastest female Winner was close behind in 2:50:25. Stay tuned for this years race results!

Find more information about the Nike Women’s Marathon and its causes.

Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is an excellent ab exercise. When done correctly, this move works all four abdominal muscle groups.

First, lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees up to a 45 degree angle and let your feet come up off the floor. Slowly go through a bicycle motion with your legs. Extend one leg as you bend the other leg and bring it towards your body. Then alternate sides. As you “pedal” your legs, you will reach your left elbow towards your right knee (as it comes towards your body), and then your right elbow towards your left knee (as you switch sides).

KEYS:

As you do the exercise, keep your abs pressed towards the floor! Go slow enough that you can breath evenly throughout the exercise and maintain correct form. (As with most ab exercises, form is more important than speed!)

Keep your eyes focused at an upward angle. This will prevent you from pulling your neck and head too far forward. By keeping your neck relaxed and straight, you can focus on using your abs to do the crunch. Better form means better results.

With the bicycle crunch, the amount you extend your lower leg will determine the difficulty of this exercise. If you are advanced, you can extend the lower (extended) leg until it is completely straight. If you are a beginner, you can keep the extended leg slightly bent. Regardless of your level, keep in mind that it is more important to maintain correct form and do an easier version of the exercise. Once you are stronger and can maintain proper form, you can increase the difficulty of the crunch.

Kayaking

Last week I went to Alaska to go sea kayaking, hiking and camping. I was there for a whole week, and I was worried about not being able to get to the gym. Skipping an entire week of weight training had me a bit concerned! But kayaking proved to be an incredible workout, and I came back just as fit (in both my strength and endurance) as when I left.

Kayaking is fun, and provides an excellent alternative to other types of workouts. Kayaking can help break up just about any exercise program, which is great for overall fitness, strength and endurance. It works both your muscles and your cardiovascular system.

An ideal fat burning workout, kayaking is great for most people. Since your heart rate is typically within range, your body burns fat instead of muscle for this activity. You also engage your muscles consistently over a longer period of time which helps to build sleek, lean muscle instead of bulk. Total calorie burn will vary and depend upon how hard you paddle, how long you go for and whether there’s a headwind or not.

Kayaking in AlaskaMuscles worked include your shoulders, your arms’ extendors and flexors, your chest and back muscles, as well as your abs, glutes and legs. Your arms and shoulders are obviously extensively used while paddling. However, experienced kayakers use their other muscle groups just as much as their arms and shoulders. A strong back and core is just as important as arm strength. You can get a killer core workout and increase the power of your stroke if you engage your core while kayaking. I came back from Alaska with tighter abs than when I left! Legs are actively used in kayaks for steering and stability, especially in rough water. Kayaking is also good for your glute muscles, which should be flexed to ensure good posture in the kayak.

You’d think that kayaking would take a long time to learn. However, for most people, kayaks are actually pretty easy to use. Once you get the hang of it, you can start getting the fitness benefits of kayaking while continuing to improve your form and technique over time.

I had been kayaking a few times before, but had never received any tips from anyone who really knew what they were doing. While we were in Alaska, my sister gave me some pointers to help improve my speed, strength and efficiency. (My sister works as a river guide and has years of experience in river rafting, kayaking and canoeing… she’s a little outdoor genius.) Here are some pointers:

Kayaking Tips

  • Dig your paddle in close to the side of your kayak each time take a stroke. This helps you to move in a straighter line, instead of veering a different direction each time your paddle switches sides.
  • Engage your core muscles to help you have more strength in each stroke. Instead of just using your upper body to paddle, use the strength from your core to give you better results.
  • Use your legs! You wouldn’t think that your legs would be important when it comes to kayaking. However, your legs sit in the kayak slightly bent with your knees pointing slightly outwards. Your knees are actually touching the inner sides of the front end of your kayak. Using your legs helps to steer your kayak and maintain your balance.

Kayaking in AlaskaKayaking is a great workout, and is a perfect activity for most seaons. In Alaska it was pretty cold (50 degrees tops), and there was snow in the mountains, so cold weather gear was a must. In these colder conditions, you will want waterproof pants and a jacket in addition to any other warm layers of clothing you may need. In the spring and summertime, you won’t need quite as much gear. You can enjoy the warmer weather and catch some sun. You may want a hat or sunglasses. Since the water will reflect extra rays, don’t forget your sunscreen! Ovearll, kayaking is something you can do almost any time of year. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there!

Choosing the Best Sunscreen

I love summer! I feel especially motivated to work out because I love being outdoors when it’s warm. I get excited to spend as much time outside as possible.

But, for those of us who do a lot of our workouts outdoors during the summer (and even during other seasons), avoiding over exposure to the sun is important. Finding the right sunscreen is essential. Choosing the right one can be more complicated that you’d think. You will find sun tan lotions, sunscreens, sunblocks and sunless tanners everywhere you look. Each are different. Here is a breakdown of each:

Sunblock

Sunblocks are products that actually block sunlight by reflecting or repelling it. True sunblocks are the only products that literally block the sun from your skin. These products contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which physically repel sunlight. These materials – which are usually opaque – are typically referred to as mineral or physical blocks. Sunscreens (discussed below) contain absorptive materials, usually referred to as chemical blocks.

Sunscreen

Sunscreens are different from sunblocks. They contain ingredients that protect your skin from UVA rays, UVB rays or both. Most sunscreens contain an organic chemical compound that absorbs ultraviolet light (such as oxybenzone). Some sunscreens contain both physical blocks and chemical blocks. Sunscreens are available in different levels of SPF (Sun Protection Factor). They typically range anywhere from SFP 4 to SFP 60. A higher SPF means better sun protection. The SPF for each sunscreen equals the number of hours of protected sun exposure that would equal one regular hour of unprotected sun exposure. For instance, applying SPF 15 would mean that you would get the same level of sun exposure in 15 hours that you would get in one hour with no sunscreen on. Keep in mind that during those 15 hours you would need to have on sunscreen continuously. Sunscreens and sunblocks alike need to be reapplied to be effective. They should be reapplied to exposed areas of skin every couple of hours and after excessive sweating, swimming or using a towel.

The best sunscreens protect against both UVB (ultraviolet radiation with wavelength between 290 and 320 nanometres), which can cause sunburn, and UVA (between 320 and 400 nanometres), which damages the skin with more long-term effects, such as premature skin aging.

Suntan Lotion

Suntan Lotion is mainly used as a moisturizer and is usually applied to maximize UV exposure, not block it. Suntan lotions often do not contain any level of sun protection at all. Suntan lotions include everything from SPF 4 lotions, to indoor tanning lotions, to outdoor suntan oils.

Sunless Tanners

Sunless tanners are rapidly gaining popularity. They give anyone a sunkissed glow or suntan without the sun damage. These tanners are a safe alternative to overexposure to the sun. High quality sunless tanners are being developed all the time and there are many that give you a completely natural looking suntan.

Sunblocks, sunscreens, suntan lotions and sunless tanners are each available in lotions, creams, sprays and other formulas. Choose the best sun protection possible so that you avoid sunburn and excessive tanning. Protect your skin and invest in your long term health so that you can enjoy outdoor workouts for years to come.

Dehydration vs. Thirst – Drink Before You Feel Thirsty

“Thirst is not a good indicator of your level of hydration.” – Coach Shane

My college coach has more sayings than I can count. Many of them make us laugh, but all of them have wisdom behind them. I would have to say that his most-used saying is, “Thirst is not a good indicator of your level of hydration“. I don’t think I could count the number of times I’ve heard my coach say it. He repeats it over and over again, but to tell you the truth, we always need to hear it! The wisdom behind the saying lies in the fact that by the time you are feeling thirsty, you are already past the point of being adequately hydrated. If you feel thirsty, it’s too late!

Hydration is a major necessity when it comes to fitness and athletic performance. Dehydration can cause you to feel sluggish, tired and can contribute to major health problems. Severe dehydration can be a serious life threatening condition. Initial indications of dehydration include dry eyes, headache, dizziness and fatigue.

If you wait until you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. It takes about TWO HOURS for anything you drink to have an effect on your body’s hydration level. By the time you feel thirsty, you are two hours behind! Drinking something even the second you realize you are thirsty means that you will still be dehydrated for at least two more hours. You should be drinking enough liquids throughout the day so that you rarely (or never) feel thirsty.

If you don’t hydrate more than two hours in advance of your workout, race, game or other event, you will be dehydrated during your event regardless of how much you drink within the two hours prior. You should drink plenty of water all day and then taper off your fluid intake during those last two hours. The water you drink right before your event will not have enough time to hydrate your body, and will only make you have to run to the restroom more than you would otherwise (and we all know we already do enough of that out of nervousness before our event!)

If your event is a long event (we’re talking hours long), it is best to follow the guidelines above to be adequately hydrated prior to the event. Once the event starts, it is recommended that, at that point, you drink just when you are thirsty, or that you also hydrate with a sports drink. As you sweat, you lose more than just water. During long periods of strenuous exercise such as marathons, long triathalons, tennis matches or other long athletic events, you lose significant amounts of sodium and other electrolytes in addition to significant amounts water. During these long events, drinking too much during can result in hyponatremia, a condition where blood sodium levels drop too much. If water levels are over-replenished, the body’s natural balance of water, sodium and other electrolytes can be disrupted. The body, in essence, becomes over-hydrated. Instead of drinking constantly during long periods of exercise, drink when you are thirsty, or be sure to intake enough sodium and electrolytes as you hydrate. Sports drinks are a great option to help avoid hyponatremia. Many of them contain the right proportions of sodium, other electrolytes and minerals that are essential when it comes to replenishing your body’s fluid levels.

Good hydration has additional benefits. Adequate hydration improves your skin, helps with digestion and helps to flush out toxins and other impurities in your body.

Take it from me. I’ve had more than one race where I didn’t take my coach’s advice. After suffering through an entire race feeling absolutely sluggish and terrible, and then dealing with the frustration of knowing I had a bad race, I had to learn the hard way! It wasn’t fun. For anyone putting a ton of work into something, it’s simply not worth it to let dehydration have a negative affect on your performance.