Newsletter Issue #005 - January 4, 2011
- How to Work Out on the Road
- What Not to Drink for Workout Success
- Stay on Track in 2011
- Recipe: Salmon Teriyaki
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HOW TO WORK OUT ON THE ROAD
Always on the go? Feel like you can’t workout when you’re on the road? It can be really difficult to find the time, energy, and resources you need for working out when you’re traveling. We polled the Force Factor team this week for their advice on working out on the road.
Pack it up:
“Suitcase space is always an issue, especially when you’re flying on airlines that charge extra for checked bags. Sneakers tend to take up a lot of space in my bag so I try to wear them on the plane whenever possible. I like to pack a resistance band and a jump rope as well. They don’t take up much space at all in my bag and give me an easy way to work out in my hotel room. Packing my gear also means that I don’t have an excuse to skip workouts later.”
“Getting good nutrition is always a challenge when traveling. I make a point to measure out and pack the supplements I’ll need for the amount of time I’ll be away. I also try to hit up a grocery store when I’m on the road. It’s much easier to find the healthy snacks and foods that I’m used to eating at home at a grocery store instead of at a restaurant. Plus, by checking the labels, I can be exactly sure of what I’m eating.”
Find a gym anyway:
“I’m lucky because I belong to a big gym with facilities in major cities around the country. Some of the big gyms will allow you to use their equipment in multiple locations no matter which specific gym you belong to. To plan ahead, I check for the closest branch of my gym to my hotel and figure out the easiest way to get there so I’m prepared ahead of time.”
“Lots of gyms have special incentive programs to get people to try them out. If you’re just on a quick trip, you can often get a free day’s pass to a gym by expressing interest in membership there. I sometimes get follow-up mail or calls from them later, but it’s a free and easy way to fit in a day’s workout when you’re busy traveling. I always find it interesting to see and try out new/different equipment at new gyms as well.”
“I’ve got really bad luck with airports – I’m always getting delayed or my flights get canceled. One thing I found recently though was this site called Airport Gyms – you just put in the name of the airport and it shows you options for hitting up a nearby gym with information on the distance and day pass cost. It’s really helpful – I’d much rather be lifting than waiting around in the airport.”
Make the most of location:
“Most of my family lives in much warmer and sunnier places than I do. When I go to visit, I try to take advantage of the warm weather by getting in my workouts outside. I love running outside so visiting family can be really motivating to actually do more cardio than I’m used to.”
Use the hotel amenities:
“When I’m traveling, I always try to pick a hotel with a pool. The gym I belong to at home doesn’t have one and I love the total-body exercise I get from swimming. Since I don’t swim often, it’s great for muscle confusion. It also torches calories, which helps out because it’s hard to stick to a strict diet on the road.”
“Lots of major hotels have gyms. The strength training equipment usually is really limited though so I try to stick to cardio exercises there. Then I do my own strength training in my room. Pushups, crunches, bicycles, lunges, leg lifts, planks, wall sits, and more all don’t require any special equipment. With just my body weight alone, I can usually get a pretty serious workout.”
WHAT NOT TO DRINK FOR WORKOUT SUCCESS
By now, you’re probably aware of how critical hydration is, especially when you’re breaking a sweat in the gym. Even when we’re not working out though, we are losing water. We’ve all heard the standard advice that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. While water is a great choice, it’s not always the one we make. Read on to find out the best and worst beverage choices for your workout success.
Experts recommend that men get about 3 liters of total liquid a day. This includes fluids obtained through food (typically around 20% of your total fluid intake). However, if you are exercising, spending time outside in hot/humid weather, or have a fever, you will need more. When exercising, make sure you are hydrating yourself before, during, and after your workout.
There’s a reason water is the most recommended choice for hydration for bodybuilders. Our bodies are about 60% water and our cells and organs require water to perform their necessary physiological tasks (like flushing out toxins and delivering nutrients). This is especially true for our muscles during exercise. Additionally, water can help us to eat better. Often thirst (from inadequate hydration) can be misinterpreted as hunger. In this case, drinking water can help us to avoid extra, unnecessary snacking.
When you’re sweating a lot from intense exercise, you’re losing more than just water. You’re also losing electrolytes (like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium ions). A proper balance of electrolytes is essential for proper nerve and muscle functioning. If you’re planning an intense workout, choose a pre-workout drink with electrolytes, like Force Factor’s Body Rush. During and after your workout you can also support your body with a hydrating sports drink. Post-workout, a protein shake made with whey protein, can be a smart choice for your recovery.
Coffee and Tea
The caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea can provide the energy necessary to get you out of bed and into the gym and allow you to exercise even longer. Coffee and tea can also be good choices after the gym. The caffeine in both can block pain receptors, reducing post-workout muscle soreness. Finally, both drinks contain healthful antioxidants which may help support and repair an active body. Caution: to keep calories and carbohydrate counts low, use milk, cream, and sugar sparingly.
When we’re not working out, we don’t always remember to keep track of our hydration. Although we may be following a strict diet, we also often forget to consider the calories and fat we can intake with beverages. For optimal results and workout success, here are some beverages to avoid:
Sugary Energy Drinks
Although the energy you get from caffeine can provide a needed boost for working out, you should be cautious about energy drinks. Although they pack a large caffeine punch, too much caffeine may make you feel jittery. Worse, many energy drinks are loaded with sugar. One 16 oz. can of the original Rockstar Energy Drink has 62 grams of sugar (and 280 calories)! To get your caffeine, choose coffee, tea, a caffeinated sports drink, or a sugar-free energy drink instead.
Specialty Coffeehouse Drinks
While regular coffee can be a good choice for its energy and antioxidants, many of the coffee concoctions that you can get at the coffeehouse can be diet-disasters. At Starbucks, one medium-sized White Chocolate Mocha has 400 calories and 11 grams of fat! If you add the whipped cream topping, you’re tacking on an additional 70 calories and 7 grams of fat. If you’re at the coffee shop, skip the fancy, fat-heavy specialty drinks and try a new variety of coffee beans for your regular coffee instead. If you’ve got to have one of those specialty drinks, order a small size, ask for skim milk, and skip the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle!
Sugary Soft Drinks
At lunch, dinner, or anytime in between, sodas are often our go-to beverage. However, the calories from sugary sodas can really add up. The mega-sizes that soft drinks are served in don’t help either. A 20 ounce bottle of Coke has 240 calories and, although orange soda might sound healthier, 20 ounces of Sunkist (orange soda) has 320 calories and 84 grams of sugar. Wondering why you’ve reached a fat-loss plateau? Try cutting out (or cutting back on) your daily soda intake. If you need something carbonated, try diet soda or sparkling water instead.
When the temperature dips low, it’s often tempting to warm up with a mug full of hot chocolate or hot apple cider. However, you’ll really need to break a sweat to burn off the calories from your typical mug of hot cocoa. Starbuck’s medium-sized, plain hot chocolate contains 300 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 47 grams of carbs (and the flavored hot chocolates are even worse!) If you absolutely have to have hot chocolate, make your own with a low calorie, low fat mix. If you just want a warm beverage, go for coffee or tea instead.
Smoothies, Milk Shakes, and Floats
Thick, creamy, and delicious, many of the drinks in this category probably look clearly unhealthy to you. Consider Coldstone Creamery’s largest Oh Fudge! Shake with 1920 calories and 106 grams of fat, for example. However, many fruit shakes and smoothies appear to be very healthy and nutritious. Be wary and check the nutritional stats though! Many juice and fruit-based drinks are mixed with high-calorie ingredients and packed with sugar. For instance, Jamba Juice’s Power Pomegranate Paradise Fruit Smoothie has 95 grams of sugar (and 430 calories). Fruit juice is often rich in many vitamins and can be a healthy choice; however, watch your serving size and take note of the sugar and calories!
Have you ever heard the phrase “empty calories” used to describe beer? “Empty calories” typically refers to foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value. An average can of beer may contain 150 calories from sugar, but not too much else. Go for light beer to cut back on some of these calories and try to keep the number of cans to a minimum. Otherwise, those extra calories may be stored as fat, leading to the familiar “beer belly.”
Rich and Sugary Cocktails
Like beer, cocktails also often contain lots of empty calories. Many cocktails can register even higher on the calorie count due to the juices, sodas, and syrups they’re mixed with. Big, sugary margaritas + mudslides are among the most calorie-intense drinks at restaurants. However, stats for most cocktails can vary widely depending on how they are prepared. Limit yourself to just 1 (normal-sized) cocktail if you want to indulge and choose one without (or with limited amounts of) sugary syrups, juices, and sodas. Diet sodas, sparkling waters, and low-sugar juices are among some of the lower calorie choices.
STAY ON TRACK IN 2011
A new year means new resolutions. January is a great time to get motivated to get healthier and improve your body. However, after a few months, it is easy to lose motivation and start cutting back on trips to the gym and eating right. Our team at Force Factor wants to help you meet your goals for 2011 all year long. Check out the below tips for habits you can start now to help you stay on track!
Keeping a journal of exercise can keep you accountable. By writing down your workouts every day, you can better remember how often you’ve been working out, what muscle groups you should work next, and when you need a rest day. Writing down planned exercise ahead of time (in pen!) can also help you to stick to your workout schedule better.
Keeping a journal of your food intake can also keep you on track. Frequent small snacks throughout the day can really add up and sabotage the progress you’ve made in the gym. If you commit yourself to writing down everything you eat daily, you’ll be more aware of destructive snacking and binges. Planning out meals and writing them down beforehand can also help you to stay on track with your eating habits.
Schedule Exercise Ahead of Time:
For better success in sticking to gym visits, make a conscious effort to plan workouts into your schedule. If you only go when you remember or “feel like it” you’re not likely to get the maximum results you want. Write gym visits into your calendar and treat them like you would permanent appointments.
Signing up and paying for a group class can also help you to schedule exercise and show up consistently. Choose classes that get progressively harder and build upon previous skills. You are less likely to skip if you know that you will fall behind for later sessions. You also may be less inclined to skip a class when you know you’re paying for it!
Try Something New:
Doing the same workouts day in and day out can get boring. When we’re bored at the gym, we’re less likely to keep going. Make sure to try some new sport, class, or exercise routine every month to keep things fresh. Changing up your exercises also helps with muscle confusion which may help you to achieve better gains, faster.
Mixing up your food routine is as important as mixing up your workouts. Getting bored of the same strict diet of chicken and tuna day in and day out may cause you to give up on a diet altogether. Instead, plan out the week’s meals ahead of time and give yourself variety! This week’s Force Factor recipe for Teriyaki Salmon is a good choice to throw into the mix.
Get a friend involved in your workout routine! When you schedule trips to the gym, you are far less likely to forget or intentionally miss them when you have a friend waiting there for you. Working out with a friend who is stronger than you can also be great for motivation. Plus, having a spotter (who will actually pay close attention to you) for awkward lifts is smart for safety.
Spread the word about your goals. When your friends and family are aware of your goals, they can do more to support you (like choosing activities and cooking foods that align with your new habits). Telling others about your plans can also be motivational – you won’t want everyone to know that you’ve slipped up or given up on your goals for the year.
Joining a sports league, through work, school, or the community, can also help you to stay on track. Leagues come with regular game and exercise schedules that will help you to get consistent exercise. They also provide good social support and motivation to stay on track.
Support Yourself with Supplements:
Taking the right supplements can go a long way to helping you to reach your goals. If you’re committing to a new, intense workout schedule, support your recovery with a glutamine and a whey protein supplement. Need extra energy to get through the gym or power through a workout? Try Force Factor’s Body Rush or Ramp Up pre-workout on your most challenging days. Daily nutrition supplements like a multivitamin and an omega 3 can also help support your body and your health while you’re stressing your muscles with consistent exercise. Signing up for a monthly auto-ship program for your favorite supplements (like Force Factor) can also help you to stay on track. You’ll have one less thing to remember so you’ll have more time to dedicate to your goals for 2011!
RECIPE: SALMON TERIYAKI
Looking for a high-protein dinner with a little more taste than the usual grilled chicken breast? Try Teriyaki Salmon this week. In addition to being rich in protein, salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to support a healthy cardiovascular system and brain functioning. Your body can't make omega-3s on its own which is why it's a good idea to get them in your diet and through supplements (like Force Factor's Omega-3).
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
1 ½ lbs of salmon fillets or 4 steaks, (approx. 6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon mace (optional)
Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil and spray it with the nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the salmon steaks on the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, and ginger (and mace) to make the sauce. Brush the salmon with the teriyaki sauce. Broil about 7 to 10 minutes on each side. Apply remaining sauce during the cooking process.