4 Things to Consider Before Beginning a Running Routine

By: Kalena Shoman

Having the chance to sit down with Tucson runner and 800m Mexican National Champion, James Eichberger, taught me a lot about the initial struggles that people face when starting a running routine. How do you know your body’s limits when beginning a new routine? Is there a wrong way to go about running? What are the risks a new runner can face? How you approach these questions can either make or break your running experience.


RBar Energy Athlete: James Eichberger - 800 Meter Mexican National Champion

 RBar Energy Athlete: James Eichberger - 800 Meter Mexican Nation Champion


Getting in the Groove:

Start off slow. Walking is the best way to condition your body to get used to the movement. Once you trust that you’re ready to run, keep a steady pace. Try not to overdo your first few weeks of activity. You can walk for five minutes, then jog for one and continue as desired.

Another way to overdo things is to run every single day, without giving yourself a rest day. Just like a machine, your body gets tired and can over work itself to the point of either straining and pulling muscles or even fracturing and breaking bones. A good pace to keep is two days on, one day off. This gives your body the time needed to rest, but doesn’t let your body lose its muscle memory.


Choosing the Right Shoes:

The type of  shoes you buy are extremely important, just as much as their condition. When looking for the proper running shoes, go to a running store. An educated sales person should be able to take a look at your feet and stride, then determine which type of shoes would benefit you. They should be looking for the movement of your arches and ankles. With this, they can give you several options,  but remember to follow your intuition. If they bring you a shoe, that for any reason is uncomfortable or hurts, don’t buy it. Listen to your body and go from there.

The condition of the shoe, is also just as important as the shoe itself. If they’re too old, you could face lack of vital support. However, just the same, if you’re shoes are too new you could end up straining your feet and ankles. In this instance, try wearing your new shoes around the house or to the grocery store a few time to break them in. Your body will greatly appreciate it.


When should you Stretch?

So, there are two main types of stretches: static and dynamic. Before going for your walk, you want to stay away from static stretching, which would be considered any stretch that you hold for a period of time. Dynamic stretches such as jumping jacks, knee highs and leg swings would all be a good options for pre-run stretching. Dynamic stretching awakens your muscles, getting your blood pumping and has a positive effect on your power, endurance and flexibility. Static stretching before a workout of any kind will leave your muscles feeling weak and unsteady, however it is suitable for post-run stretching, when muscles are loose and warm. This increases flexibility will positively impact future performances.


Post Running Regimen:

James mentioned that nowadays people are realizing the effects of continually pushing themselves and have taken the initiative to become more of a recovery driven culture. The harder and longer you walk, run or workout, the more time you need to give your body to heal itself. Outside of lounging around or taking warm baths, you can utilize self-rolling massage sticks to relieve the knots and nerves in your calves and upper legs. As for your feet, try rolling a tennis ball along the bottoms to alleviate pain and soreness. A benefit to the tennis ball tactic is that it’s self-controlled, which gives you the power to massage as you wish.


Getting the hang of running can be an adventure in itself. So, create a few playlists of your favorite inspirational music, get some comfortable running clothes, and let the sky be your limit. If you need an extra push, invite a friend or reach out to a current runner to help support you in your adventure. It can be as simple as adding a 30 minute run into your current routine, or you could possibly change your entire lifestyle. Make of it what you will; the possibilities are endless.

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Beat the Heat - How to Stay Active During the Summer Heat

Written by: Annie McCabe

Tucson is known for its crazy hot summers! This is my first summer staying in Tucson; and
although I am worried about the heat, I do not plan on letting it stop me. Heat or no heat I vow to #DoMore! Instead of using the heat as an excuse to skip another workout, I plan to use these tips to keep up with my fitness goals. I hope you will do the same and #DoMore this summer.

Stay Hydrated

Hydrate throughout the day. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Do not wait until you are thirsty, by then you are already dehydrated. Strive to drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes of exercise. If working out outside be sure to plan a route that allows access to water or carry water with you. Be aware of signs of dehydration. These
include headaches, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, fatigue, confusion, and elevated body


Dress to Impress

Invest in light-colored and breathable material instead of your cotton tee shirts. These synthetic micro-fiber materials will allow sweat to evaporate, cooling your body more efficiently.

Time Your Workouts

Set your alarm for early morning before the sun comes up to avoid the summer heat or plan a workout at sunset.

Hit the Pool

Try adding a pool workout into your workout schedule. This is a great way to accomplish aerobic exercise while keeping you cool. A bonus is reduced stress and pressure on your joints vs. other workout regiments. By adding pool workouts to your routine, not only will you stay cool and get a great workout, but you will also get some vitamin D! (But don’t forget the sunscreen)

Try a Fun Fitness Class

Taking a group fitness class is a fun way to stay in shape, beat the hit, and stay motivated! Check out your local gym’s fitness schedule and sign up for a Zumba, spin, yoga, or a strength training class. Enjoy a great workout while staying cool in the air conditioned gym.

Listen to your body

Do what is best for your body. Listen to what it is telling you and do not push yourself too hard. If you start feeling faint, dizzy, or dehydrated make sure to stop exercising and take necessary action.

Don’t let the summer heat stop you from chasing your goals. Tell us how you #DOMORE during the summer heat, in the comments below!

Stay Sweet by Eating the Right Kind of Sugar

Written by: Annie McCabe

As a Dietetics student, the topic of sugar has come to the table many times.  Sugar and its use is a controversial topic.  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is converted by the body into glucose and then used for energy.  However, not all sugar is created equally.  It is important to learn about and identify the different types of sugar.   Then examine your diet and check ingredient labels for natural sugars and added sugars.

So, what is the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar?  

Natural Sugars

Naturally occurring sugar is found in two forms, lactose which is found in milk and fructose, which is found in fruit.  Consuming natural sugars is crucial because they are found in whole foods, which are key from a nutritional standpoint.  Consuming whole foods provides you with nutrients such as Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.  These nutrients are hard to find in foods with added sugars.  

Added Sugars

Added sugar is sugar removed from their original source and added to food and drink.  It can be added for many reasons including flavor, fermentation, and to avoid spoilage.  It is important to note that natural sugars, such as fructose can be used as an added sugar.  For example, the sugar you add to your coffee is also added sugar.  Food manufacturers are not mandated to separate naturally occurring sugars and added sugars on a food label.  However, by knowing what to look for on an ingredient list you can reduce your added sugar intake.  Doing so helps with overall health and wellbeing.  Keep an eye out for words such as, but not limited to, agave syrup, cane syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, and fruit juice concentrates.  

Why this matters?

The body metabolizes natural sugar differently than it processes added sugar.  Added sugar is broken down rapidly causing a spike in both insulin and blood sugar levels. Natural sugars, which contain fiber, slows down metabolism thereby decreasing the spike in insulin and blood sugar levels and leading to a full feeling.

Next time you’re out at the grocery store, #DoMore , and look at food labels.  Familiarize yourself with the different names for added sugars and work on taking baby steps to decreasing your added sugar intake.  

What does it mean to #DOMORE? from #TeamRBar Climber Tanner Mack

What does it mean to #DOMORE?

A question that has so many answers, some simple and some not. It seems I find myself asking this question a lot.

What does it mean to #DOMORE? It can mean waking up sore and tired but putting on your shoes and going for a run. After that going to school for hours, then going to the gym for 3 or 4 hours. Pushing yourself to a limit that is impossible. Breaking down day after day, only to wake up and do it again. That’s just the simple answer.

Wanting to #DOMORE is so much more than that. Every morning I wake up, I feel like I will never be good enough. I will never accomplish my goals, I will never amount to anything, all of my hard work is for nothing. Pushing through that is a daily war that wages within myself. Every day I fight and expect something better of myself because if I don’t, then the little voice telling me I can’t, won.

That’s what it means #DOMORE. Everyday you fight, not just the pain and the fatigue, but that little voice. Inspire others with your hard work and effort. That little voice may never stop saying you are worthless, but waking up and putting in the effort is one step closer to quieting it.

What does it mean for you to #DOMORE?

Novice to Elite – How Athletes #DoMore by Fueling Up 

Novice athletes often struggle with under-fueling their workouts, particularly when taking on a new challenge or athletic endeavor. So, I recently sat down with three members of the University of Arizona’s TriCats, to find out about how they go about consuming a healthy number of nutrients before, during and after their training.
Andrea Nunez-Smith explained that before a workout she typically consumes carbs, a bit of protein, and healthy fat, such as a banana with peanut butter.  If Andrea has an extended workout, she will eat during her training session. This might include a gel or simple bar. Following workouts, she focuses on rehydrating while once again, consuming protein, healthy carbs and fats.
Andrea enjoys RBars because, “They provide a lot of great nutrients to keep one going through a workout and are great snacks to have on-the-go. I like the flavors they have to offer to their clients [customers] and they have very natural ingredients”.  She continued explaining, “They help replenish lost fuel during and after workouts and help keep me going.”  
I was curious as to how Andrea pushes herself to #DoMore and she said, “I #DoMore by pushing myself each day to be a better version of myself and by fueling my body smartly.”
Conrad has similar eating habits before, during, and after training, typically eating something easy and full of energy that does not upset his stomach. During training, he stays away from food such as rice cakes because, “They tend to fall apart on the rough roads here in Tucson [cycling]. Which is why RBars work perfectly during workouts; they’re quick and easy to consume with natural ingredients.”
  Conrad explained, “The first thing I check before ingesting a food is what the ingredients are. The less the better, so of course, RBars fit right into that mold”. Along with being easy on the stomach, Conrad said that RBars are “bursting with flavor” and “provide energy when feeling sluggish”.  As a member of the Tucson community, Conrad said, “One major perk is that my purchase of RBars benefits a local company!”
Before a workout, Kelly typically eats whole wheat toast with peanut butter, but does not eat during workouts. One exception includes a long endurance ride, in which she’ll eat a bar with natural ingredients.  Following a workout, Kelly typically eats a smoothie or a veggie scramble. While choosing what foods to eat, she considers the ingredients list, always looking for a short list with natural ingredients, because eating heavily processed foods makes Kelly feel lethargic.
As a vegetarian, Kelly appreciates that RBar accommodates her lifestyle by offering vegan products. She explained, “RBars are a great go-to energy source because, they're easy to throw in my backpack on days when I have workouts and classes back to back!”  
Lastly, I asked Kelly “How do you #DOMORE?”
She responded by saying, “I do more by trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible with other people. I try to be super productive at work and school so I can hit the trails or pool with friends or teammates!”
These three students are great examples of how nutrition impacts one’s ability to perform, train, and improve. It’s important to listen to your body and to explore new, healthy avenues of getting the nutrients that you need!
Let us know how you #DOMORE in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

So, what is Pickleball?

 Are you behind on the latest sports craze? Well it’s time to get in-the-know. Pickleball is taking over the US, so here’s lowdown about this new tennis-type game.

   Pickleball is currently the #1 fastest growing sport for adults 40 and over. It’s been a life changer for a lot of people who've played tennis or racquet ball, but can no longer can play those games due to knee, elbow and shoulder injuries. Pickleball has been a great game to resort to and stay active.

   "In my mind, this is going to be the game that keeps older people going. When you get older, you still want to be active, but your friends may not play anymore, or you don’t want to be the oldest one out there, and you want to be able to carry your weight; pickle ball is perfect for this," claims Sandy Don from the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club.

   It’s drop-in, so you just kind of show up and play with whoever is there. Now you can still plan and arrange your own games; that’s always available. The game is so neat because you can play with such a wide variety of people. On certain days we hold round robin tournaments, where you’ll have a chance to play with everyone who shows up. The various types of games give you different options and something to strive for.

  "We have young people from their mid twenties to thirties to a 92-year-old who plays with us regularly," says Sandy. "It’s become a bond, a family, you know a pickle ball family!"


How does Pickleball differ from tennis and racquetball?

   First off, you play with a wiffle ball; it’s got holes in it and it's larger than tennis and racquet balls. The paddles are like the ones that you use in racquetball: composite paddles.

Secondly, the court size is much smaller. One tennis court houses four pickleball courts. Two per half to give you four. Generally speaking you play doubles, so it’s easier on the knees. We’re finding that young people enjoy playing singles and are extremely competitive. So it’s cool that there’s such a range, and it’s a game that you can play for so long into your years because it’s not as demanding as tennis.

   "It has been around awhile, but yes it’s just blowing up within the past 5 years," Sandy says. 

How did Pickleball get it's name?

"The story goes: there was a gentleman playing somewhere in the midwest and he had a dog named pickles, so when the ball went off the court, he said pickles go get the ball!" claims Sandy.

 After doing a bit of research, I found that the dog Pickles did exist, but only after the game was created. The following was found in an article "The Doggone Lies About Pickleball", written by Tristan Baurick, January 16, 2009. 

"Frank Pritchard, another of Joel Pritchard’s kids, said the name may have come from his mother, Joan, who was a competitive rower on the island. She sometimes referred to the ‘pickle boat,’ the slowest vessel in a race.

   So, just come out and try it! It’s an extremely fun sport and the fact that it’s drop in give you so many options about how long you wanna play, along with getting to meet so many people that you would have never met before. You will get addicted, I promise.

How to Stick with Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

By Annie McCabe

   New Year, New You! 2017 is YOUR year to #DOMORE.

   I am a full time college student, an avid runner and ACE certified group fitness instructor who is always looking for new motivation and principles to workout, challenge and improve myself.  These simple tips will help you stick to your exercise goals and get results in 2017!

Make a Schedule
Add workouts to your calendar.  Identify the dates and times you want to work out, the type of workout you want to accomplish and the duration of your workout.  Plan for it. Make time for it.  This simple step will ensure that you have no excuse not to workout.



Mix it up

Try new types of workouts regularly in order to keep you on your feet, to work different muscle groups, and to avoid becoming bored with the same daily workout routine.  If running is your modus operandi, sign up for a hip-hop dance class, attend a yoga class, or get moving in a spin class.  There are so many different types of workouts, so why not try them all?


Set a Date Specific Goal

By setting a specific and attainable goal, you will be motivated to continue working out in order to reach that goal.  Step outside of your comfort zone and register for a race or competition and mark it on your calendar.


Workout with Friends

Make your workout a social event.  By doing so it will be something to which you look forward.  By working out with friends or in a group, you are more likely to stick with it.  Join a workout group, local running club, or fitness class.


   Thank you all for taking a few minutes out of your day to hear me out! I hope it helps. Put any questions or comments in the section down below. Best of luck on your fitness ventures and I hope you have the chance to get out there and #DOMORE today!