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You Know Being Healthy Is Important, How About Your Family?

Earlier this year, maybe it was a New Year’s resolution that you actually kept. You decided to commit to getting fitter, eating better and in the process, being more active than you have been for many years. That being said, you have seen quite a bit of improvement as far as losing some weight, trimming down a few sizes in your clothes but more importantly finding it easier to be more active because you now have the lung power and better muscle tone to tackle a healthier lifestyle that revolves around eating right and exercising. But just how well is your family doing in regard to their own wellbeing?

After all, a healthy family starts off by someone leading by example. So, if you’ve just made that decision this year to be healthier, have your wife and children jumped on the bandwagon with you to get fit? Just like you found out, eating well and being physically active every day are keys to your child's health and well-being. Eating too many high-calorie foods and getting too little physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain and physical health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are now being diagnosed in children in alarming amounts. Obesity also is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as depression.

You play an important role in helping your child, and the entire family, learn about healthy eating and regular physical activity. Parents have the power to set examples. Make healthy eating and daily physical activity fun, to help children learn good habits to last a lifetime. Here are some tips on how you can promote healthy eating habits and encourage active lifestyles in your family.

Today, many kids are overweight or obese. A healthy, active lifestyle can help maintain weight. It also can prevent health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure. The tips below can help your family be healthier, happier and allow you all to be more active and enjoy new activities that you may have put off because no one was up to the challenge of doing them because they were overweight!

Eating better (for children and families)

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. It refuels the body and provides energy for the day.
Let your kids help plan and prepare 1 meal each week.  This helps them to get involved with the planning and sparks their interest in eating right.
Eat together as a family as often as possible.
Take time eating and chew slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell the body that you
are full.
Eat more vegetables and fresh fruits. Aim for a total of 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
each day.

Eat more whole grains. Examples include oats, brown rice, rye, and whole-wheat pasta. Try to
eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains each day.  Besides the good fiber and carbs your eating, these types of food will help you feel full.

Drink plenty of fluids. Choose water, low-fat or nonfat milk, and low-calorie beverages.

Serve a variety of foods.  Serve food in small portions.

Eating better (Rule of thumb for parents)
Reward children with praise, not food.
Do not demand or reward “a clean plate.” Let your children ask for more if they are still
hungry.
Read nutrition labels for serving size and This information can help you select foods that fit
your family’s needs.
Bake, broil, or grill foods to reduce saturated fat intake!
Avoid cooking with butter or vegetable oil. Use healthier versions like olive, canola, or
sunflower oil.
Choose snacks that provide nutrients and energy. These are essential for active, growing
children.
Ask your doctor about vitamin supplements for you and your children.

Being more active (for children and families)
Move more. Try to get between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Short sessions
of movement throughout the day add up.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Walk as a family before or after meals.
Make playtime with your family fun. Be active by shooting hoops or playing tag.
Be active in the home. For example, you can dust, vacuum, garden, or walk the dog. These
activities are good ways to burn calories.
Include activities, such as hiking or biking, when you go on vacation.
Know your daily calorie needs. Balance calories you consume with calories you burn.
Limit TV, computer, and video game time to less than 2 hours per day. Encourage physical
activity instead.

Now one key tool that you can use, like the “Carrot on the Stick” is using an activity monitor, that’s really made just for kids to get them interested in doing more, being more active and actually having them WANT to be more physical on a daily basis, why? Because with this new child’s activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivofit Jr Kid's Activity Tracker  that keeps your kids on the move so they can earn more gaming time if they’ve reached they're 60 minute goal time of being active! The Vívofit Jr. Activity Tracker can be managed by parents using the compatible Garmin app. From the app, you can add multiple children and see their steps, sleep, daily activities and task data when it automatically syncs³ to your smartphone. Assign tasks, find out how many reward coins each child has, and even invite the family to compete in a daily step challenge (from the Adventure Trail) — all from your Apple® or Android® smartphone. How awesome is that?

Finally, as a parent, you have an incentive for your kids to get up and get moving, all with the aid of Garmins child’s fitness tracker. Setting goals when they are younger makes it all that much easier for them to continue to be active and motivated as they grow into young adults. And since your going to be leading by example, both you and your significant other can set your own goals of being fit by using your own Garmin of choice to stay on course be just that much ahead of your kids in being fit. After all, you don’t want to be breathing too hard in trying to to be a step ahead of your kid's activities now, do you? One nice activity tracker that can go the distance for you in helping you maintain your goals and if your partner needs that incentive push this activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 HR Activity Tracker  their way. This activity monitor can keep both of you honest as you meet your goals and challenge your partner to do the same. The Vívosmart 3 Activity tracking capabilities include steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes and more. Move IQ automatically detects exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, and elliptical training. Sometimes it easy to get involved with work that can keep you sitting for most of the day. But your Vivosmart can alert you when you've been sitting just a bit too much and alert you that its time to get moving. This watch can also automatically start a timed walk or run activity. So you’re free to get up, get moving, and let Vívosmart 3 capture your active life. As always, you can review your activities later on Garmin Connect, so both of you can see just how well you're doing on a daily basis and making sure your one step ahead of your kids.

Welcome to Family Fitness, from your family oriented partners here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!




Read more

Earlier this year, maybe it was a New Year’s resolution that you actually kept. You decided to commit to getting fitter, eating better and in the process, being more active than you have been for many years. That being said, you have seen quite a bit of improvement as far as losing some weight, trimming down a few sizes in your clothes but more importantly finding it easier to be more active because you now have the lung power and better muscle tone to tackle a healthier lifestyle that revolves around eating right and exercising. But just how well is your family doing in regard to their own wellbeing?

After all, a healthy family starts off by someone leading by example. So, if you’ve just made that decision this year to be healthier, have your wife and children jumped on the bandwagon with you to get fit? Just like you found out, eating well and being physically active every day are keys to your child's health and well-being. Eating too many high-calorie foods and getting too little physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain and physical health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are now being diagnosed in children in alarming amounts. Obesity also is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as depression.

You play an important role in helping your child, and the entire family, learn about healthy eating and regular physical activity. Parents have the power to set examples. Make healthy eating and daily physical activity fun, to help children learn good habits to last a lifetime. Here are some tips on how you can promote healthy eating habits and encourage active lifestyles in your family.

Today, many kids are overweight or obese. A healthy, active lifestyle can help maintain weight. It also can prevent health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure. The tips below can help your family be healthier, happier and allow you all to be more active and enjoy new activities that you may have put off because no one was up to the challenge of doing them because they were overweight!

Eating better (for children and families)

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. It refuels the body and provides energy for the day.
Let your kids help plan and prepare 1 meal each week.  This helps them to get involved with the planning and sparks their interest in eating right.
Eat together as a family as often as possible.
Take time eating and chew slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell the body that you
are full.
Eat more vegetables and fresh fruits. Aim for a total of 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
each day.

Eat more whole grains. Examples include oats, brown rice, rye, and whole-wheat pasta. Try to
eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains each day.  Besides the good fiber and carbs your eating, these types of food will help you feel full.

Drink plenty of fluids. Choose water, low-fat or nonfat milk, and low-calorie beverages.

Serve a variety of foods.  Serve food in small portions.

Eating better (Rule of thumb for parents)
Reward children with praise, not food.
Do not demand or reward “a clean plate.” Let your children ask for more if they are still
hungry.
Read nutrition labels for serving size and This information can help you select foods that fit
your family’s needs.
Bake, broil, or grill foods to reduce saturated fat intake!
Avoid cooking with butter or vegetable oil. Use healthier versions like olive, canola, or
sunflower oil.
Choose snacks that provide nutrients and energy. These are essential for active, growing
children.
Ask your doctor about vitamin supplements for you and your children.

Being more active (for children and families)
Move more. Try to get between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Short sessions
of movement throughout the day add up.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Walk as a family before or after meals.
Make playtime with your family fun. Be active by shooting hoops or playing tag.
Be active in the home. For example, you can dust, vacuum, garden, or walk the dog. These
activities are good ways to burn calories.
Include activities, such as hiking or biking, when you go on vacation.
Know your daily calorie needs. Balance calories you consume with calories you burn.
Limit TV, computer, and video game time to less than 2 hours per day. Encourage physical
activity instead.

Now one key tool that you can use, like the “Carrot on the Stick” is using an activity monitor, that’s really made just for kids to get them interested in doing more, being more active and actually having them WANT to be more physical on a daily basis, why? Because with this new child’s activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivofit Jr Kid's Activity Tracker  that keeps your kids on the move so they can earn more gaming time if they’ve reached they're 60 minute goal time of being active! The Vívofit Jr. Activity Tracker can be managed by parents using the compatible Garmin app. From the app, you can add multiple children and see their steps, sleep, daily activities and task data when it automatically syncs³ to your smartphone. Assign tasks, find out how many reward coins each child has, and even invite the family to compete in a daily step challenge (from the Adventure Trail) — all from your Apple® or Android® smartphone. How awesome is that?

Finally, as a parent, you have an incentive for your kids to get up and get moving, all with the aid of Garmins child’s fitness tracker. Setting goals when they are younger makes it all that much easier for them to continue to be active and motivated as they grow into young adults. And since your going to be leading by example, both you and your significant other can set your own goals of being fit by using your own Garmin of choice to stay on course be just that much ahead of your kids in being fit. After all, you don’t want to be breathing too hard in trying to to be a step ahead of your kid's activities now, do you? One nice activity tracker that can go the distance for you in helping you maintain your goals and if your partner needs that incentive push this activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 HR Activity Tracker  their way. This activity monitor can keep both of you honest as you meet your goals and challenge your partner to do the same. The Vívosmart 3 Activity tracking capabilities include steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes and more. Move IQ automatically detects exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, and elliptical training. Sometimes it easy to get involved with work that can keep you sitting for most of the day. But your Vivosmart can alert you when you've been sitting just a bit too much and alert you that its time to get moving. This watch can also automatically start a timed walk or run activity. So you’re free to get up, get moving, and let Vívosmart 3 capture your active life. As always, you can review your activities later on Garmin Connect, so both of you can see just how well you're doing on a daily basis and making sure your one step ahead of your kids.

Welcome to Family Fitness, from your family oriented partners here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!




Read more

How Much Damage Control Do I Need To Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner?

Well, it’s just about here, the Holiday Eating Season is about to envelop us, with Thanksgiving leading the charge. That is if you don’t count Halloween. After all, you probably couldn’t resist sampling all those sweet, sugary candies, glazed popcorn balls, all sitting in that bowl by the front door. And you might have gotten thirsty so you took advantage of a cup or two of the sweet-hot-apple cider and hot cocoa that was simmering on the stove. You know, with those little sugary marshmallows floating on top? After all, its hard work waiting with that bowl full of candy that you may consume while waiting for those trick or treaters to ring your doorbell, right?

But Thanksgiving, tomorrow, is the big day for most of us to kick off the start of eating all those long-awaited favorites that you may only get at this time of year. When the dishes you’ve been craving for all season long, are finally passed around the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, with all of them smothered with a heaping portion of gravy, (maybe even homemade gravy).

For most of us, It’s a Norman Rockwell masterpiece, yes. But it’s also a meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there’s no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend keeping a mental note on just how much you’re ingesting during the day. It’s not all bad news, though. If you take part in one of the many physical events that crop around this holiday tradition. Like a “Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot”.  If you make the effort to take part in these physical activities that you've been working/training for during the year, you can feel better about having that delicious slice of Mom’s pumpkin pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here below:

Slice of Apple Pie 5-6 oz = 411 Calories
Exercise: A 5K Turkey Trot or brisk walk or jog for 35 mins

Slice Pumpkin Pie 5-6 oz 316 Calories
Exercise: Yoga 60 mins

Buttered Roll (1) 210 Calories
Exercise: Flag Football 20 mins

Sweet Potato Casserole (1/2) Cup 200 Cal.
Exercise: Spinning 20 mins

Turkey Breast 6 oz. (no Skin) 195 Calories
Exercise: Skating, ice or rink 50 mins

Egg Nog 1/2 cup 190 Cal.
Exercise: Cross-fit 13 mins

Stuffing 1/2 cup 180 Cal
Exercise: Stair Running 10 mins

Corn Bread 2 oz. 160 Cal
Exercise: Swimming 15 laps Oh My!

Red Wine 6 oz. 150 Cal.
Exercise: Walking 35 mins Keep that in mind!

Mashed Potatoes 1/2 cup 120 Cal Without toppings!!!
Exercise: Weight Training 35 mins

Green Bean Casserole 1/2 cup 70 Cal
Exercise: Brisk Dancing 14 mins

Gravy 1/4 cup 45 Calories
Exercise: 50 Burpees


We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you should be keeping track of your time, and energy expelled while doing all of the above and a Garmin Vivosmart Wireless Heart Rate Activity Monitor. The Vivosmart has a 3-dimensional accelerometer which is used to count steps (compared to a pedometer which uses a 1-dimensional accelerometer). It uses the user’s height from their profile to calculate their stride length. And if you find yourself breathing a little faster and heavier, it means that you’re pushing your body a bit more than usual, which is good as long as you’re in good physical shape. The Garmin Vivosmart HR has a wrist-based heart rate monitor that can provide you with your heart rate at a glance. So, with the Vivosmart, you will be able to keep track of all those calorie busting routines you’re going to be doing to wean your way off those calories you enjoyed during the holiday meal. And for what you get the Vivosmart is at a reasonable price point. So check it out and strap one on.

Remember!  This is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don’t forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) And the holidays do come around only once a year. So go ahead and enjoy the day as well as those holiday favorites that you’ve been looking forward to. Just keep your commitment to being healthy during this festive season on point, after all the holidays seem to whiz by this time of year. So go ahead and treat yourself within bounds. Because if you don’t, research has found that NOT treating yourself to your favorites this time of year usually results in you over indulging in something else, usually as bad or worse than if you took a small helping of your favorite holiday fare.

It’s also not a bad idea to keep your food and workout journal close by, so that you can use these as reminders, of what you need to do in order to get yourself back in bounds of your physical and nutrition regimen. And with family and friends gathering around your tables this time of year. You can get everyone involved with some kind of outside activities that will help you get your bodies engines moving so it can turn all those carbs from sugar and fat into energy.

Try getting down with a family football or even volleyball game, weather permitting. There’s always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness throughout the holiday season. So go ahead and pass that gravy boat around the table, but remember, only ¼ cup for you, and you might want to pass along some of these calorie shortfalls as you pass that gravy around the table. But please remind everyone that moderation is the “Word of the Day” and a little post-holiday meal group activity is well advised!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Turkey Trotters here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

Read more

Well, it’s just about here, the Holiday Eating Season is about to envelop us, with Thanksgiving leading the charge. That is if you don’t count Halloween. After all, you probably couldn’t resist sampling all those sweet, sugary candies, glazed popcorn balls, all sitting in that bowl by the front door. And you might have gotten thirsty so you took advantage of a cup or two of the sweet-hot-apple cider and hot cocoa that was simmering on the stove. You know, with those little sugary marshmallows floating on top? After all, its hard work waiting with that bowl full of candy that you may consume while waiting for those trick or treaters to ring your doorbell, right?

But Thanksgiving, tomorrow, is the big day for most of us to kick off the start of eating all those long-awaited favorites that you may only get at this time of year. When the dishes you’ve been craving for all season long, are finally passed around the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, with all of them smothered with a heaping portion of gravy, (maybe even homemade gravy).

For most of us, It’s a Norman Rockwell masterpiece, yes. But it’s also a meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there’s no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend keeping a mental note on just how much you’re ingesting during the day. It’s not all bad news, though. If you take part in one of the many physical events that crop around this holiday tradition. Like a “Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot”.  If you make the effort to take part in these physical activities that you've been working/training for during the year, you can feel better about having that delicious slice of Mom’s pumpkin pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here below:

Slice of Apple Pie 5-6 oz = 411 Calories
Exercise: A 5K Turkey Trot or brisk walk or jog for 35 mins

Slice Pumpkin Pie 5-6 oz 316 Calories
Exercise: Yoga 60 mins

Buttered Roll (1) 210 Calories
Exercise: Flag Football 20 mins

Sweet Potato Casserole (1/2) Cup 200 Cal.
Exercise: Spinning 20 mins

Turkey Breast 6 oz. (no Skin) 195 Calories
Exercise: Skating, ice or rink 50 mins

Egg Nog 1/2 cup 190 Cal.
Exercise: Cross-fit 13 mins

Stuffing 1/2 cup 180 Cal
Exercise: Stair Running 10 mins

Corn Bread 2 oz. 160 Cal
Exercise: Swimming 15 laps Oh My!

Red Wine 6 oz. 150 Cal.
Exercise: Walking 35 mins Keep that in mind!

Mashed Potatoes 1/2 cup 120 Cal Without toppings!!!
Exercise: Weight Training 35 mins

Green Bean Casserole 1/2 cup 70 Cal
Exercise: Brisk Dancing 14 mins

Gravy 1/4 cup 45 Calories
Exercise: 50 Burpees


We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you should be keeping track of your time, and energy expelled while doing all of the above and a Garmin Vivosmart Wireless Heart Rate Activity Monitor. The Vivosmart has a 3-dimensional accelerometer which is used to count steps (compared to a pedometer which uses a 1-dimensional accelerometer). It uses the user’s height from their profile to calculate their stride length. And if you find yourself breathing a little faster and heavier, it means that you’re pushing your body a bit more than usual, which is good as long as you’re in good physical shape. The Garmin Vivosmart HR has a wrist-based heart rate monitor that can provide you with your heart rate at a glance. So, with the Vivosmart, you will be able to keep track of all those calorie busting routines you’re going to be doing to wean your way off those calories you enjoyed during the holiday meal. And for what you get the Vivosmart is at a reasonable price point. So check it out and strap one on.

Remember!  This is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don’t forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) And the holidays do come around only once a year. So go ahead and enjoy the day as well as those holiday favorites that you’ve been looking forward to. Just keep your commitment to being healthy during this festive season on point, after all the holidays seem to whiz by this time of year. So go ahead and treat yourself within bounds. Because if you don’t, research has found that NOT treating yourself to your favorites this time of year usually results in you over indulging in something else, usually as bad or worse than if you took a small helping of your favorite holiday fare.

It’s also not a bad idea to keep your food and workout journal close by, so that you can use these as reminders, of what you need to do in order to get yourself back in bounds of your physical and nutrition regimen. And with family and friends gathering around your tables this time of year. You can get everyone involved with some kind of outside activities that will help you get your bodies engines moving so it can turn all those carbs from sugar and fat into energy.

Try getting down with a family football or even volleyball game, weather permitting. There’s always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness throughout the holiday season. So go ahead and pass that gravy boat around the table, but remember, only ¼ cup for you, and you might want to pass along some of these calorie shortfalls as you pass that gravy around the table. But please remind everyone that moderation is the “Word of the Day” and a little post-holiday meal group activity is well advised!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Turkey Trotters here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

Read more

Find Yourself Looking Over Your Shoulder As You Train??

So, how about it? Are you an early riser or an after work fitness enthusiast? Either way, this time of year, no matter when you get out to train, and I mean running, through the streets, or for some of us, we find the peace and quiet, of a local cemetery, is as good a place as any to tackle some people free paths.  Yes, I said cemetery's  You can usually dial it up a notch by going up and down the hills that usually make up this tranquil resting place. Tranquil, it may be, but maybe a little eerie this time of year as well with Halloween right around the corner. Be honest, running early in the morning or early evening can sometimes make you feel just a little bit uncomfortable. We have all had that “hair on the back of our neck”, starting to rise feeling, right?

Well, sometimes that’s a good way to generate some extra speed or spring in your step to get you out of that particular area and into a better lit place where you feel a little more comfortable.

Seriously though, now is a great time of year, with it being the fall season, to take part in a local run, or ½ marathon that seems to pop up everywhere this spooky season. In fact, according to a “Running USA” survey, Halloween is now the 2nd most popular holiday running time, second only to Thanksgiving! So now is a great time to get on your smartphone or tablet, and do a little searching to see what’s available nearby that you can take part in. Most occur on this coming Saturday, but there are events scheduled on Sunday as well, this Halloween weekend.

As always, anyone who takes their running seriously, keeps track of how well they do, against their distance levels and the time it takes them to get there. The advantage of taking part occasionally in a timed “Fun” running event is that you can gauge your performance against how well you do compared to others who are running around you. I’ts always good to put yourself up against some competition so that you have a visible objective in front of you that you can concentrate on to see just how well you really are doing. Sometimes we get a little complacent when we run solo. We can get ourselves into a stagnant running routine and talk ourselves into a “half-truth” that, yes, we just finished our run of the day and our time is about the same as always. So I guess I’m doing all right, after all, I didn’t lose any time right? Well, that is correct, but you may not be pushing yourself as hard as you should be doing in order to get yourself to a “Next Plateau” level either!

Running in events that take place throughout the year is a good way to see just how well you really are doing against some competition. One way to improve yourself while your training is keeping constant records of your time, exertions (heart rate), naturally your distance and seeing how many calories you're burning during this type of work out. A good fitness tracker can do this for you and one like the Garmin Vivosmart 3 HR  With this type of activity monitor, you're able to track everything you need from heart-rate (thanks to Elevate wrist heart rate monitoring), steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and VO2 max.

So it a great tool to provide you with the right data so you know just how well you're doing all the time, even when you get to the gym for some strength training. Which is important enough that we’re going to do another blog post just on that. The importance of strength training to a runner.

So how about it, you up for a little ghoulish fun? After all, a lot of the Halloween running events that are taking place allow you to dress up as your favorite spooky monster, demon, or TV celebrity, whatever puts a smile on your face, and maybe your racing companions.

So, get on that smartphone, do a little searching and get yourself registered for some Halloween running fun. Once you do this, you’re going to look forward to taking part in another one again, and again. And don’t forget, with Thanksgiving coming up fast, (Remember, this is the “Top Dog” in holiday themed racing events), you're going to be able to pick and choose which event you can take part in to see if you’re moving your personal training bar farther ahead!

Me, I think, I’ll be making myself up as zombie from the ‘Walking Dead” series… Just can’t get enough of that show…..but you can forget about the staggering zombie gait...

I’m looking to finish with a great time, how about BOOO?

 

Read more

So, how about it? Are you an early riser or an after work fitness enthusiast? Either way, this time of year, no matter when you get out to train, and I mean running, through the streets, or for some of us, we find the peace and quiet, of a local cemetery, is as good a place as any to tackle some people free paths.  Yes, I said cemetery's  You can usually dial it up a notch by going up and down the hills that usually make up this tranquil resting place. Tranquil, it may be, but maybe a little eerie this time of year as well with Halloween right around the corner. Be honest, running early in the morning or early evening can sometimes make you feel just a little bit uncomfortable. We have all had that “hair on the back of our neck”, starting to rise feeling, right?

Well, sometimes that’s a good way to generate some extra speed or spring in your step to get you out of that particular area and into a better lit place where you feel a little more comfortable.

Seriously though, now is a great time of year, with it being the fall season, to take part in a local run, or ½ marathon that seems to pop up everywhere this spooky season. In fact, according to a “Running USA” survey, Halloween is now the 2nd most popular holiday running time, second only to Thanksgiving! So now is a great time to get on your smartphone or tablet, and do a little searching to see what’s available nearby that you can take part in. Most occur on this coming Saturday, but there are events scheduled on Sunday as well, this Halloween weekend.

As always, anyone who takes their running seriously, keeps track of how well they do, against their distance levels and the time it takes them to get there. The advantage of taking part occasionally in a timed “Fun” running event is that you can gauge your performance against how well you do compared to others who are running around you. I’ts always good to put yourself up against some competition so that you have a visible objective in front of you that you can concentrate on to see just how well you really are doing. Sometimes we get a little complacent when we run solo. We can get ourselves into a stagnant running routine and talk ourselves into a “half-truth” that, yes, we just finished our run of the day and our time is about the same as always. So I guess I’m doing all right, after all, I didn’t lose any time right? Well, that is correct, but you may not be pushing yourself as hard as you should be doing in order to get yourself to a “Next Plateau” level either!

Running in events that take place throughout the year is a good way to see just how well you really are doing against some competition. One way to improve yourself while your training is keeping constant records of your time, exertions (heart rate), naturally your distance and seeing how many calories you're burning during this type of work out. A good fitness tracker can do this for you and one like the Garmin Vivosmart 3 HR  With this type of activity monitor, you're able to track everything you need from heart-rate (thanks to Elevate wrist heart rate monitoring), steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and VO2 max.

So it a great tool to provide you with the right data so you know just how well you're doing all the time, even when you get to the gym for some strength training. Which is important enough that we’re going to do another blog post just on that. The importance of strength training to a runner.

So how about it, you up for a little ghoulish fun? After all, a lot of the Halloween running events that are taking place allow you to dress up as your favorite spooky monster, demon, or TV celebrity, whatever puts a smile on your face, and maybe your racing companions.

So, get on that smartphone, do a little searching and get yourself registered for some Halloween running fun. Once you do this, you’re going to look forward to taking part in another one again, and again. And don’t forget, with Thanksgiving coming up fast, (Remember, this is the “Top Dog” in holiday themed racing events), you're going to be able to pick and choose which event you can take part in to see if you’re moving your personal training bar farther ahead!

Me, I think, I’ll be making myself up as zombie from the ‘Walking Dead” series… Just can’t get enough of that show…..but you can forget about the staggering zombie gait...

I’m looking to finish with a great time, how about BOOO?

 

Read more