Author Archives: Janice Marie

Honey for improved performance

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, consumption of carbohydrates in the form of sports gels can be beneficial as part of a long-distance sport training program. However, sometimes these can be pricey. There is an alternative to sports gels that is more economical: honey. According to a study in the February 2002 issue of Strength and Conditioning Journal taking honey prior to vigorous activity can benefit performance. Honey can act as an ergogenic aid by maintaining blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout.

The following recipes will allow you to create home-made energy bars and sports drinks by using honey as a main ingredient. Recipes courtesy of National Honey Board. Read the rest of this entry

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Learning to snowboard

Where you live can have a big impact on the kind of activities that you can do to stay active. Having been born on an island, I always had access to water sports and all kinds of beach related activities. However, there was something that I always wanted to try out: snowboarding.

I had some experience skiing during various travel trips, but it wasn’t until the winter of 2009 that I had my first snowboarding lesson in Taos, NM. I have to say, I wasn’t very good at it. I had good balance but I wasn’t mastering the turns.  In snowboarding you must master the basic turns (heelside, toeside) independently before linking the turns in order to go down a slope. I fell so many times that I ended up with a bruised tailbone (ouch!). Read the rest of this entry

Nutrition tips to train for a half marathon

In the summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to participate in the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA. I was part of the Team in Training group, which raises funds for research against Leukemia. Each participant makes a commitment to raise funds and in exchange we are provided with a coach that trains us during a whole season. One of the things that I liked the most about the training was all the tips that I got to improve my performance. There are many things that can influence your performance besides your physical condition. Nutrition is one of them. Here are some of the things that I learned from my coach that helped me get ready for the Big Race. Read the rest of this entry

Obstacle mud runs and overexertion injuries

“Man dies during Mud Run competition” read the headline of a news website on March 10, 2012. I was in shock when I read the news article. Obstacle mud runs have become a new genre of athletic event. These races range from 5k to 10k trails with obstacles and mud in between. Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac and Muddy Buddy are a few examples.

As a past participant in both Mud Run and Warrior Dash, I have found that people enjoy the camaraderie and adrenaline rush of these events. Some people make groups and start training six months in advance. These are the ones who take the race very seriously. Others do it just for fun, walking instead of running and completing only the obstacles that they can master. However, after knowing that a man recently died in one of these races makes you wonder about both the security of the event and overexertion injuries that can occur during competition. Read the rest of this entry

Hiking Eagle Rock Loop: 26.8 miles of forest, streams and hills

Hiking the ERL (Eagle Rock Loop)  was definitely a challenge. The trail consists of 26.8 miles of trails along nine mountains and the Little Missouri River. It is the longest loop train in the state of Arkansas. Hiking through the shaded trails of mixed hardwood and pine forest on a flat terrain was very pleasant. However, once the elevation started to increase, the fatigue kicked in. On the way down, the trekking poles really came in handy to take the pressure off the kneecaps.

We started the hike at the Albert Pike Recreation Area following the Little Missouri Trail. The scenery in this hike was wonderful, along with the sound of the rushing river. Before making camp for the first night, we stopped at Eagle Rock Vista overlook, which provided great views of the Viles Valley. It was a great opportunity to take pictures. The next day, we passed through Winding Stairs formation, a scenic area with a swimming hole. However, we didn’t have enough time to spend in that beautiful spot, since the sun was setting and we needed to make camp for the second night. Read the rest of this entry

Horse Back Riding: a fun way to exercise

Often when we hear the word “exercise”, what comes to mind is a person working out at a gym, or practicing a competitive sport. However, many things that we do for fun are also a disguised form of exercise. Take for example horseback riding.

Recently, I went with a group of friends to Marshall Creek Ranch, near Grape Vine, TX. We went there with the idea of having some fun and recreation. I never imagined that my muscles would be so sore after an hour and a half of horseback riding. The reality is, that besides being a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with some friends, horseback riding is a good form of exercise. Read the rest of this entry

Eating Healthy while Traveling

As a person who is trying to eat healthier and make better food choices, I was worried about my upcoming trip to Italy. The greatest concern was not being able to eat healthy while on the road. However, I found that with a little research, eating healthy is possible, although not easy to find. Eating organic food is important to me because that means there are no chemicals, GMO’s and /or growth hormones in the food.

In a recent visit to San Gimignano, I visited Fattoria Poggio Alloro, an organic farm in a beautiful setting surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and fields. The farm produces wine, oil, and cereals. My dinner consisted of homemade pasta, olive oil, four different types of wine, a variety of cheeses, and cured meats. When I tasted the food, I could immediately notice a difference. This was not your regular supermarket pasta. This one tasted as something my grandma would make. Read the rest of this entry