Choose to Infuse
Fruity drinks like lemonades or punches are common at summer shindigs. Although these beverages often have real fruit juice in them, they are high in added sugar and can be high in calories too. For a healthier option, try infusing water with fresh fruit or herbs. It is a great way to add flavor without adding any calories. There are so many different delicious combinations; berries, citrus fruits, cucumber, fresh mint or basil, anything that strikes your fancy! My personal favorite is lemon, lime, cucumber, and fresh mint leaves. Here are some interesting combinations you may want to try this summer.
Be Picky About Your Tea
Texas sweet tea may seem like a good choice, but that sweet flavor comes from added sugars. One glass of sweet tea can contain as many as 200 calories! The next time you’re craving tea, reach for unsweet instead. Tea is naturally calorie free and can be brewed in a variety of flavors. If you find your iced tea needs a little something extra, don’t reach for sweeteners or sugar, try lemon juice or even fresh herbs to add an extra zing!
Find a Healthier Carbonated Drink
Sodas and other sweetened fizzy drinks are full of extra calories, sweeteners, and offer no nutritional value. Instead of a soda, try a carbonated water. There are many fresh takes on carbonated water, some including fresh and fruity flavors. When looking for a carbonated water beverage, be sure to check the ingredient list. Some products market themselves as a “carbonated water beverage” and add unnecessary sugar or sweetener.
Simplify Your Coffee Order
Coffee is another naturally calorie-free beverage that often has added ingredients. Adding in flavoring, syrups, sugars, creamers, and whipped cream can pile on extraneous calories, sugar, and fat. Instead of ordering a large gourmet coffee beverage, go for something simpler. Black coffee is such delicious choice; it doesn’t need to be sweetened. Just add ice for a scrumptious, calorie-free, midday pick me up.
Try switching up your beverage choices this summer!
As fitness professionals, we know that they do. Regardless of your mode of exercise, proper footwear is an essential component of both safety and performance. If you've browsed a big box shoe store or sports chain, you've probably seen the various categories of shoe types, titles such as running, walking, active, track, training, volleyball, and so forth. What do these titles mean, and how do you know which one is appropriate for your lifestyle, particularly if you cross-train? What about arch support, foams, inserts, meshes? The options can be overwhelming, and the advertising terminology difficult to navigate even for experienced athletes and runners. Where to begin?
To help answer these questions, we spent a little time with local "Shoe Guru" Dave Moody of Core Running Company, here in San Marcos. Dave has been a mainstay in the running community for many years, and helping others with proper shoe fitting for over a decade. "It is paramount to have the right equipment to get the right result", Dave says, reinforcing what we already know about the importance of proper footwear. One result we can all hope to achieve is a pain-free, injury-free workout. Of course, no shoe can completely eliminate the risk of injury during physical activity, but determining the size, shape, stability and style that is right for you can help to reduce that risk.
Shoe type and support are key factors in the health of your feet, knees, hips, and low back. As an example, pronation (the degree to which the foot rolls inward as weight is transferred during walking or running) can be part of normal, healthy flexibility, Dave points out. A person who over-pronates, however, may require a shoe with more stability in order to avoid stressing the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower leg and knee. On the other hand, under-pronation might better benefit from more cushion. Given that a certain amount of variation is normal from one person to the next, a gait analysis is the first step to proper fitting. Gait analysis is a quick, non-invasive process where a professional looks at alignment, flexibility, and movement patterns to determine if there are any biomechanical abnormalities that might impact footwear needs. This information, combined with a little bit of background (past issues or injuries), and lifestyle factors, will decide what type of shoes will be recommended. Regarding shoe type, running shoes are a popular choice, but are specifically designed for linear movement, and may not be ideal if your habits include multi-planar activities such as dance fitness or court sports. Walking shoes are very supportive, but may lack the flexibility needed for comfortable running. For some people, the choice may seem obvious. But where these needs conflict, there is always a compromise, and a knowledgeable professional can advise your accordingly, so we highly recommend taking a few minutes to get a free fitting.
A few tips for your first fitting: Bring your old shoes! Examining the wear and tear on your shoes can reveal a lot about how your feet behave. Dress comfortably, preferably in shorts, or pants that can show the ankles. Be prepared to answer a few questions about your history and current activity. And most importantly, don't be intimidated! "We are all recreational athletes...", says Dave, gesturing to the poster-sized prints of friends and residents that trim the walls at Core Running. You don't have to be training for the Olympics to benefit from a good pair of shoes!
Proper shoes don't have to cost a fortune either, but the knowledge of a good fit is invaluable! You can shop within your budget, and still find the best shoe for you. Stop in for a free fitting, and stay on the road to wellness. (Bonus: Texas State University employees receive a 10% discount at Core Running Company.)